A vigil for Valentina ‘Tina’ Delva was organized by ISU on Sept. 24 outside Cromwell Hall, the residence hall Delva lived in.
Delva, 18 was a freshman at ISU, who was killed due to gunfire almost 300 blocks away from campus at 6th St and Ohio Blvd on a Friday Night.
The community of Indiana State University gathered outside the hall to honor the freshman’s memories in the university and her friends.
The vigil was conducted by Eryn Jenkins, one of the student leaders in ISU who took the crowd into a moment of silence.
Among Tina’s friends and ISU leaders, President Deborah Curtis was one of the speakers. She mentioned being in constant contact with Delva’s mother. Dr. Curtis recited poetry that expressed the grief she felt for Delva and her mother. “I’ve had the opportunity twice this week to speak personally to Tina’s mother, and as you might imagine, the family is devastated,” said Dr. Curtis, “I’ve been able to speak to her as two mothers walking through each other and I will tell you I am devastated, to hear the pain and cry of a mother who lost a beautiful young daughter”.
DeVaughn Vinson, a friend of Delva and freshman who helped organize the memorial expressed that Tina was a great friend to all, a shoulder to lean on.
Black Student Union, an organization that promotes black power, as well as advocates for students of color, were also there to share their condolences to Tina’s family. Nijah Smith, the vice-president of BSU, said, “As ISU students we are hurting, as black students we are hurting. Again, we have lost a beautiful spirit to senseless violence, again we must navigate through the death of yet another black woman. Valentina was a woman with plans and dreams. She walked this campus like you and me, she is a reflection of us all”.
One of Delva’s close friends, Keara McCray Shelton, an ISU freshman described that they all planned to come to ISU together and go through their four years of college together. “Now ISU will be nothing but a missing piece! Tina was such a nice person and she did not deserve this. All the violence, it has to stop!” said Shelton.
Warrants against five people were issued during the investigation for charges of possession of marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance. Terre Haute Police Department along with ISU Police Department is still investigating since the perpetrators are yet to be arrested.
Students with any information related to the incident are requested to contact the Terre Haute Police Department at 812-238-1661 or the Indiana State University Police Department at 812-237-5555.