President Dr. Jasinski At Candlelight Vigil Honoring Morgan McCoy

President Dr. John Jasinski speaks with a family member of Morgan McCoy at the candlight vigil honoring her life Feb. 11.

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.”

These words from the poem “Death is Nothing at All” by Henry Scott-Holland rang through the Union Ballroom during the Sigma Kappa Candle Lighting Service Feb. 11.

Roughly 200 students, faculty and community members gathered together to remember Morgan McCoy and Haily Hayes, two Sigma Kappa sisters who had died.

Hayes died Jan. 17, 2016, and McCoy was killed after being hit by an alleged drunk driver at The Palms Jan. 7, 2018. Both were active members of Sigma Kappa.

Faith and Lacey Casel opened up the service with a chance to share memories of the two sisters. As tears rolled down cheeks, laughter filled the room and lights slowly illuminated the room one by one, memories of both ladies were shared throughout the night.

Though tragic, the ladies of Sigma Kappa had grown closer together, and junior Allison Buckley discussed the impact of their losses.

“It’s really just affected all of us as a whole, and it’s brought us closer together,” Buckley said. “It’s created a special bond between all of us, and it’s helped us appreciate everyone a lot more. You never know how much time you have left with anyone.”

Sigma Kappa President Erin Martin echoed Buckley’s words

“It’s been hard on our chapter, but it’s brought us closer together and made us stronger as well as shown us you can rely on each other and lean on your sisters,” Martin said.

Martin went on to discuss their purpose for the service, not only their sorority but the campus.

“We want to recognize two of our members that have passed away and remember their lives and help keep people informed about mental illness and drinking and driving,” Martin said. “We are hoping to let people know that starting a conversation and encouraging everyone to reach out to others and keep each other accountable can make a difference.”

For McCoy, the trial for Alex Catterson started at the beginning of the week. Throughout the week, a variety of Sigma Kappa members are expected to take part in the trial. Senior Maddie Skarda knew the events have been hard, but has had a profound impact on a sorority that has bonded together.

“Ever since I’ve met everyone at Sig Kap, I’ve felt like I was at home,” Skarda said. “I’ve received comfort and joy, and these are my people, the people I’ve been looking for. I am really proud of my sisters for the strength that they have to overcome these great losses, and the bond that we have is unbreakable.”

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