Maggie Reid, Features Editor
At 4 p.m. on Martin Luther King Day, students, faculty and staff lit up battery-operated candles in Strebel Student Center as part of a candlelight vigil honoring King.
While attending the vigil, students reflected on King’s legacy and what the day means to them.
Senior Alexia Colacicco was one of the first individuals to take a stance and work toward getting Martin Luther King Jr. Day off for Utica College students. She attended the vigil because she always tries to show support and reiterate King’s philosophy.
“I do my best to live by Martin Luther King’s position and to spread it,” Colacicco said. “And to get other people to see different points of view. Educating and talking is the best way to get a point across.”
Junior Cassie Gabeau attended the event because she felt that it was a good way to spend her day off.
“It’s a day to recognize who he was and what he stood for,” Gabeau said. “And I guess talking about the progress and seeing how everybody feels about it and how people are trying to make this country the way that he wanted it to be.”
To junior JaQuay Gibbs, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an opportunity to celebrate who the civil rights leader was and to show “that even though he is not here, that everyone appreciates all that he did, as well as a way to remember that, years ago, events like this wouldn’t have been possible.”
“The reason I attended this event was for community service for one of the organizations I am apart of and for the fraternity that I am a part of,” Gibbs said. “Also to show face, and to appreciate who Martin Luther King was, to learn new things about him because you always think that you know everything but then there is something new that you learn.”
To sophomore Michenelle Delille, Martin Luther King Jr. Day should be used to demonstrate faith, hope and promise.
“There are alot of simple things that, if this was the 1960s, I would not be able to do,” Delille said. “Simple things, such as going to the bathroom in a public place, going to a restaurant and not getting discriminated against, applying for a job and having laws that prevent discrimination against you, drinking from a water fountain. Everything would be determined for you; you couldn’t just sit on a bus where you wanted, especially in the South. Simple things like getting a good education, not having to worry about getting ripped textbooks or getting taught the wrong information just because of the color of your skin.”
To Delille, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to not only celebrate him, but Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and everyone else who fought for civil rights.
“To me, this day means not only a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., but everyone else who has worked towards giving us our freedom and rights, and who have fought for us to have a say in our community and society,” Delille said. “And that is really important to me.”