In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Yale student groups and faculty have reacted in solidarity with Parisian demonstrators.
On Wednesday night, La Société Française, an undergraduate organization primarily dedicated to celebrating French culture, held a remembrance for the Charlie Hebdo victims in front of Sterling Memorial Library. Roughly 60 students gathered for a picture inside the Sterling nave, holding up pens, pencils and posters saying “Je Suis Charlie.”
Additionally, there have been no changes to any of Yale’s France study abroad programs. The Center for International and Professional Experience is currently supporting one year-long student in Paris, and an additional 10 students are scheduled to go to Paris this semester.
“We have policies for responding to events abroad, and committees that convene as needed,” said CIPE Dean Jane Edwards. She added that there are no plans to change any of the programs.
Other members of the Yale community have declared that the attacks in Paris assailed broader principles central to the University’s liberal arts education.
“The attacks in Paris were an attack on all of us,” said political science professor David Cameron. The defense of the freedom of speech should transcend nationality, he added.
Cordelia de Brosses ’16, president of La Société Française, said there has been discussion about organizing an exhibition of drawings, paintings and caricatures to commemorate Charlie Hebdo’s victims. The idea is currently pending approval from residential college administrators.
Other Yale students have been vocal in responding to the situation, including multiple student groups representing the French community.
“Although I did not know any of the victims personally, I have felt my personal liberties and values being attacked,” Victoire Courtenay ’16, current president of Yale European Undergraduates, a cultural and political organization of international European students, said.
Hélène Lavau ’16, an international student from Paris, said that she feared that demands for French unity could lead to more violence. These attacks will only feed an already existing and growing Islamophobia, she said.
According to Courtenay, the other French students in the YEU, including several on the executive board, have also been deeply shaken by the attacks. However, she added that they have also found hope in the compassion and solidarity demonstrated both on campus and worldwide in the aftermath of these events.
“In the face of violence it is far too easy to respond with more hate, which is why I am so moved by the responses of solidarity and defense of each other and our common rights,” she said.