Hundreds attend vigil for slain Cal student

Friends of a 19-year-old University of California at Berkeley student who was among 20 people killed Friday during a terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh, held back tears as they honored her memory during a vigil at the school Tuesday afternoon.

Hundreds of people attended the vigil held in front of Sproul Hall around noon today for Tarishi Jain, who was studying economics at UC Berkeley.

Jain was inside a bakery in Dhaka on Friday when gunmen stormed the business and took dozens of people hostage. After an hours-long standoff with Bangladeshi authorities, the gunmen were ultimately killed.

Jain was reportedly with her two friends, students at Emory University in Atlanta, who also died during the attack.

At the vigil, school officials set up a memorial for Jain on the steps of Sproul Hall filled with flowers and an oversized sheet of paper in which students and faculty could write down memories they shared with Jain. A moment of silence for her was also observed.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said:

“Today our hearts are broken and we stand together in solidarity and support with Tarishi’s family and her friends. As we do so, we cannot help but ask ourselves how to make sense of what seems senseless.”

Tarishi, an Indian national, had gone to high school in Dhaka. In 2014, she began studying at UC Berkeley, according to Dirks.

This summer she was in Dhaka for an internship at Eastern Bank Limited, according to Lawrence Cohen, director of UC Berkeley’s Institute for South Asian Studies.

Friend and student Anisha Chemmachel said:

“Thank you Tarishi, for having such a big heart and wanting so much for yourself and the world. And thank you for being so much fun and finding the light in everything.”

Friend and student Aaliyah Parker said:

“I’m so sorry. I love you and I’ll miss you forever. … One moment I go from tagging Tarishi in a Buzzfeed post on Facebook and the next, I Google her name and all I see are articles about her death. Even though she was more than that. She was a very loving, positive, dedicated person.”

To help students and faculty grieve, the school’s University Health Services department will be offering counseling services throughout the week, said Susan Bell, the school’s assistant director of outreach and consultation services.

Students can drop by the school’s Tang Center anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to talk to a counselor and no appointment will be needed.

Additionally, the school will hold a support space Wednesday at the school’s Multicultural Community Center starting at 2:30 p.m. for students and staff seeking a safe space to talk, Bell said.