CSUN remembers Armenian genocide

The Armenian Student Association raised awareness for the Armenian Genocide in April 2011. There were 115 crosses displayed across the lawn behind the Ovaitt Library, each cross represented 13,000 people that died during the genocide on April 24, 1915. Sundial File Photo
The Armenian Student Association raised awareness for the Armenian Genocide in April 2011. There were 115 crosses displayed across the lawn behind the Ovaitt Library, each cross represented 13,000 people that died during the genocide on April 24, 1915. Sundial File Photo

Using the slogan “I am the 1.5 million,” the annual Armenian Genocide Remembrance Week will be held on CSUN’s campus starting April 23.

The event is meant to commemorate the 1.5 million Armenian individuals lost from 1915 to 1923, according to the United Human Rights Council.

Along with the Armenian Student Association (ASA), the sorority, Alpha Gamma Alpha and the fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Omega, helped craft the week long event open to the entire CSUN student body.

“Until my sophomore year, I hadn’t known about another genocide besides the Holocaust” said Daisy Hernandez, a junior biology major. “Is is a good idea for the group to raise awareness about it because people enter the school every year ignorant of it.”

Beginning today, the ASA will set up a Genocide Awareness display on the North Lawn next to Arbor Grill. An interactive Hand Print display and an Armenian Genocide timeline will also be shown from 12 – 4 p.m. The hand print display will allow students to put their unique handprints on butcher paper in front of the Oviatt Library on Matador Walk.

ASA will then host a silent march on Tuesday, starting near the Arbor Grill.

The events will wrap up on Thursday with a candlelight vigil near Matador Bookstore at 7 p.m. Presentations at the vigil will range from dance performances, poetry recitals, student speakers and an appearance by the Armenian Public Radio and guest speaker Greg Krikorian.

Despite the community experiencing many trials and hardships since the genocide, the memory of them still endures, said Alina Grigorian, a communications sophomore and ASA secretary.

The United Human Rights Council (UHRC) states the genocide of the Armenian community began in 1915 and is recognized as one of the first modern genocides due to the systematic elimination of a group.

“Not only are we recognizing the 1.5 million lost in this event, but that we are all alive,” said Talar Alexanian, a sophomore and vice president of the ASA. “After the Armenian genocide came the Holocaust and what is still occurring in Darfur… We can do our part in stopping crimes against humanity.”