The French House, a francophone cultural center and private residence hall located just off campus, brought members of the public together Monday in support of lives lost during recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
Six coordinated attacks in France’s capital city left 129 dead and hundreds wounded Friday, according to The New York Times.
Andrew Irving, the director of the French House, collaborated with UW-Madison’s Department of French and Italian to host the event.
“What happened was unthinkable, and we want to convey to our friends and colleagues a sense of solidarity,” said Gilles Bousquet, chair of the department. “We have a lot of connections with Paris and we felt that the French House was the place for us to come together on this day of mourning in France.”
Rick Keller, associate dean of the Division of International Studies, said the attacks have personal meaning to him.
“I can remember many afternoons spent at the café, and many dinners at the restaurant,” Keller said. “The street will bear a new meaning. I’ve spent the weekend combing lists of victims hoping not to know someone on the list.”
Representatives from University Health Services said staff will be available to help campus members mourn the attacks.
Professor of French Névine El Nossery emphasized a need to look at the bigger picture when coping with the aftermath.
“The best thing to do is to talk about it more and more, and to have different perspectives on the situation,” she said. “Not only having for sure our emotional expression is important, but putting it all in perspective so we have a bigger understanding of the bigger territories of the conversation.”
Numerous student organizations have scheduled a vigil Thursday for victims of the ISIL attacks.