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At UMass Dartmouth, a Moment of Silence – and Questions

Students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offered up a moment of silence, a vigil, and plenty of questions Monday in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, in which one of their own – a fellow student – is accused of being a perpetrator in the attack.

Nineteen-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is a registered student at UMass, Dartmouth.

The Daily News Transcript reports:

Several speakers gave their words of shock, encouragement, hope and  healing.

“We are grieving at UMass Dartmouth,” said Michelle Cheyne, assistant  professor of foreign literature and languages. “One of our members has done  something that means he is no longer in our community. Our hearts are  sickened.”

Student Sara Laghlam, class of 2013, spoke to represent the campus’ Muslim Student Association.

She offered condolences and said: “These inhumane and horrific acts are  against Islamic beliefs. Let’s put our differences aside. Let us unite.” …

They were quiet for a moment of silence and hundreds participated in a  student-led vigil at 5 p.m., but they were no closer to having their questions  answered, and may never be.

How did Dzhokar Tsarnaev return to school as if nothing happened? Did he attend the campus vigil last Tuesday to remember the bombing victims? How did he make idle chit chat with fellow students? Why did he do it? And, thinking back, were there any warning signs?

“It’s kind of unnerving,” said freshman student Lindsay Blier. “I’m OK now that I know he’s not on the campus.”

Graduate student Shariq Suror said the events that unfolded last week were “shocking.” He still isn’t completely over it. “It’s not the same anymore,” he  said.

Sue Khin, a graduate student, was hanging out and studying with her friends  in the library prior to the vigil. She said having the suspect on campus after  the bombings was “very close.”

“I have friends in his dorm,” Khin said. “That’s too close. Even having a  feeling that you used the same gym and dining hall is eerie.”

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