Criminal Justice Club honors victims of Tree of Life shooting

Author: Student Writer 

While the increasing presence of gun violence in our country is known to all, the reality hit close to home for Geneva when a shooting occurred at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2018. In response, Geneva’s Criminal Justice Club raised awareness through the creation of a small memorial outside of the Student Center. 

The rock outside the Student Center, normally decorated in celebration of a campus event or decked out by students to celebrate a friend’s birthday, was painted in an aqua blue color with the words “Tree of Life” painted on, as well as the Jewish Star of David symbol. Beside the rock lies a small wreath standing on a frame, adorned with red, white and blue ribbons. Jack Kase, leader of the Criminal Justice Club, wrote in an email interview that this memorial was created “not only to raise awareness but to remind the Geneva community of the losses the Tree of Life community felt, even 40 (minutes) away from that community.” 

The memorial is located in a central spot on campus where it is visible to many students as a pertinent and helpful reminder to be in prayer for the community and for the families who suffered losses by a violent act of hate. In response to the memorial, Kase and the Criminal Justice Club hope that the students would remember that, as Christians, “we [are] called to protect life.”  

In the wake of this tragedy, the club aims to aid and support the Tree of Life Synagogue community through prayer and physical donation. The club accepted gifts and cards from Geneva’s student body by use of the box located in Skye Lounge. The Criminal Justice Club delivered this box on Nov. 17.