Students show solidarity with Syrian refugees

Jessica Molina

Following the recent attacks around the world, Loyola’s honor students began taking action in support of Syrian refugees from advocating with legislators to educating their community.
Fasting holds roots in many religious traditions. The concept of a rolling fast is intended to create a community with a constant reminder of the refugees.
The goal of a rolling fast is to put yourself in an intentional mindset, and keep in mind the reason for the fast. Participants fast for one meal, and then pass on the fast to the
next participant.
Michael Pashkevich, biology senior, is the coordinator of the fast.
“Our group of students also hope to promote interfaith understanding and cooperation; to communicate with our congressional representatives and express our opposition to closing the United States borders to refugees, both Syrian and otherwise; and to petition media sources to extend their terrorist attack coverage to more than simply Western cities,” Pashkevich said.
Naomi Yavneh, director of the honors program, said that while this is not an official honors activity, she encourages participating students symbolically to recognize the suffering of others and to act as their hearts move them.
Upon the start of the fast, two university offices contacted the group with concerns of student health during the time of fasting.
Pashkevich encourages participants to eat if they feel light-headed.
Yavneh and the honors department made granola bars and fruit available to students who may need it, in order to encourage student health.
In addition to the fast, the group has created a map displaying where acts of terror have occurred, phoned senators, congress members and the governor, created a peace tower next to Loyola’s advent candles, and gathered for an interfaith prayer service.