Sac State Event Addresses Paris Attacks

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Sacramento State University's raucous Language Day event was paused for a moment of silence dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week.

Speakers were thankful that no Sac State student or graduate studying in France were harmed, but they did acknowledge the death of a Cal State Long Beach Student Naomi Gonzales in the terrorist attack.

Present were French faculty members and students who engaged in tearful embraces, apparently still shaken by the events in their homeland.

"Unfortunately, many of the people didn't make it so our thoughts are with the family of the victims," an emotional Nicole Buffard, a language professor from France, told FOX40.

The event is a part of International Education Week where study abroad is encouraged in order for students to get a better understanding of different cultures.

French professor Kevin Elstob said family members in Paris are safe although friends are connected to some victims of the attacks.

"We should celebrate the fact that we're human, that we live on this planet and share the idea that part of our humanity is that we speak to each other and we try to learn each others languages," Elstob told the gathering.

Among the dozens of language tables at the event was one run by the French Club, which was gathering messages of condolence and support. Members say the attacks would discourage them from traveling to France to study.

"I think that is a victory for the terrorists if you change how you act or where you want to go based on attacks," said club member Matthew Malone.

Buffard also cautioned people against viewing Muslims as terrorists.

"We should not think of our Muslim friends and amalgamate them with the people who did these terrible acts," Buffard said to the audience.

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