RogerRemera

Twenty Years Later: Commemorating the Rwandan Genocide with Consolee Nishimwe

Consolee Nishimwe was a 14-year-old girl when she was forced from her home and into hiding during the three-month massacre known as the Rwandan Genocide.

An estimated 800,000 people were killed in the massacre, which took place in Rwanda between April and July of 1994.

Nishimwe, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, visited campus on Tuesday, April 8 to share her story of loss and hope, and lead the USF community in commemorating those who lost their lives twenty years ago.

She spoke of the tragedies she witnessed as friends and neighbors turned against her and her family, as well as the physical and emotional torture she personally endured.

Having lost much of her immediate family, she spoke of often losing the hope and will to live, but shared with the audience her mother’s words to “just keep praying within your heart.”

Despite her tragic story, Nishimwe escaped the genocide with her mother and sister, and expressed the importance to always remain hopeful.

Following her speech, attendees partook in a candlelight vigil and took a moment of silence to remember the lives lost during the killings. Nishimwe also held a book signing for her 2012 memoir, “Tested to the Limit: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Pain, Resilience and Hope.”

Since 1994, Nishimwe has become a vigorous defender of global women’s rights, and a committed speaker on genocide.

The departments of International Studies and African Studies hosted the event, titled “Twenty Years Later: Commemorating the Rwandan Genocide with Consolee Nishimwe,” during this month of global reflection.

Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by Hutu extremists in what were then called merely ‘acts’ of genocide. As the world stood by, this genocide raged in Rwanda against entire families, often through mass killings in hospitals and churches. These unspeakable acts of hate and violence were built upon a convoluted and hostile history heightened by colonialism, and resulted in an estimated 800,000 lost lives.

The Rwandan Community of  California will be holding a commemoration of the 1994 genocide on Thursday, May 15 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Stanford University. 

 
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Women’s Tennis: Dons Coast to Consecutive Wins over Bulldogs, Pilots

In the last home match of the 2014 season, the Dons took on the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Olympic Club on Saturday with a chance to capitalize on their growing momentum. Surging after their 6-1 victory on Friday, the Dons (14-7, 3-5 WCC) eviscerated the Bulldogs 7-0 to improve to 14-7 on the season and climb the West Coast Conference ladder. It was an outstanding team performance that saw every Dons singles player notch a win and put points on the board.

One of the most notable victories that took place on Saturday was junior Marina Nikolic’s 6-0, 6-0 over Melanie Gates of Gonzaga. Sophomore Andrea Ka didn’t blink en route to 6-0, 6-1 victory over Gonzaga’s Kylie Peek, and the lopsided affair continued her excellent play this season.

It was a true team effort for USF, with every active Dons player laying claim to at least one victory. Sophomore Sophia Holmberg was another Don who collected a win without much resistance from her opponent. Holmberg took down the Bulldogs’ Samantha Polayes 6-2, 6-1.

On Friday afternoon, in a WCC matchup that looked to help catapult either team into conference respectability, USF was able to come away with a 6-1 home win over the Portland Pilots.

Starting off the decisive victory for the Dons was a dominating performance from the team of Holmberg and freshman Thyra Taune, who defeated the duo of Maja Mladenovic and Tori Troesch 8-0. This game set the tone for the rest of the matches, as USF did not ease up on the Pilots from there. The Dons went on to put the first points on the board after the USF duo of junior Milica Hadzi-Tanovic and sophomore Brooke Irish clinched the doubles point by defeating Saroop Dhett and Marina Reimers 8-3.

The beginning of singles play featured Thaune, Irish and Nikolic nabbing crucial straight set victories over their opponents, widening the margin and giving the other players breathing room in their matches. In the match that pitted USF’s Ka against Portland’s Maja Mladenovic, spectators were treated to three one-sided sets, with the Dons’ Ka being able to pull out the victory, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.  When the smoke cleared, the Dons were able to give a fitting birthday present to Holmberg, who turned 21, and leave the Olympic Club in better shape heading into the season’s final matches.

USF’s drubbing of Gonzaga and Portland marked the end of the home matches this year, and the Dons will finish the 2014 campaign with a formidable 7-1 record at home. San Francisco now closes out the regular season with a trip to Stockton, Calif. to play the University of Pacific on Friday, April 18, and will then prepare for the West Coast Conference Championships, which take place from April 23-26.

 

Bradley Zimmer makes contact with the baseball in Sunday’s 12-9 setback against Pacific. The Dons’ preseason All-American led the team with four hits in six at-bats. Courtesy of Emily Bogden.

Baseball: Giarratano Gets Walk-Off Single, But Dons Lose Series with Pacific

The Dons had an opportunity to move up in the competitive West Coast Conference (WCC) over the weekend, but they let two crucial games against Pacific slip away, losing their three-game series with the Tigers and falling to eighth in the WCC in the process.

On Sunday the Dons (16-18, 6-9 WCC) lost to Pacific 12-9 in an offensive battle that saw a combined 35 hits from the two teams. Freshman right-hander Grant Goodman had a rough day on the mound as USF’s starting pitcher, giving up six runs in just four innings.

The Tigers went up quickly in the first inning, and stretched their lead to 5-0 in the third. The Dons clawed back in their half of the third, however, batting in three runs on four hits and a walk. Freshman second baseman Matt Sinatro kicked off the inning with a base on balls, and freshman shortstop Nico Giarratano, junior right-fielder Derek Atkinson, and senior designated hitter Zach Turner all delivered RBI singles for the Dons.

The game remained within the Dons’ reach throughout the middle innings, but it was in the eighth that things started to unravel. Pacific started the inning with a single from Tyler Sullivan, who scored on a sacrifice fly. RBI doubles by Gio Brusa and Erik Lockwood gave Pacific even more breathing room, and the Tigers ended the inning with an 11-4 lead.

Despite the dire circumstances, the Dons still had some life left in them. In the bottom of the ninth, USF began the inning with five straight hits, the last of them being a Sinatro double that brought home freshman pinch runner Sawyer Gieseke. Later, the Dons had the tying run at the plate with just one out and the score at 12-9, but Giarratano struck out and Atkinson’s groundball ended the game.

Center fielder Bradley Zimmer tallied four hits and two RBI’s for the Dons, and Sinatro also pitched in with three hits and two runs scored. Goodman took the loss to bring his record to 2-3 on the year.

A day earlier, the Dons escaped with a 3-2 victory that came courtesy of a walk-off single from Giarratano in the eleventh inning. Junior left-hander Christian Cecilio pitched 7.2 strong innings for San Francisco, and redshirt senior Houston Hibberd got the win to improve to 4-1 for the season.

Neither team scored until the fourth inning, when Pacific got on the board to lead 1-0. The Dons responded in the sixth, with junior catcher Justin McCullough’s RBI single tying the contest at 1-1. USF gave up a run in the top of tenth, but stayed alive in the bottom of the inning thanks to Giarratano, who scored on a wild pitch to set up his dramatic game-winning single in the following inning.

“Our back was against the wall today,” head coach Nico Giarratano told usfdons.com. “We needed to win.”

In Friday’s series opener, the Dons took a 6-3 lead but couldn’t hang on, eventually falling 11-7. Redshirt senior right-hander Abe Bobb surrendered three runs in 4.1 innings, and senior relief pitchers Jesse DeLong and Ben Graff struggled in their backup roles.

Zimmer had the crowd roaring in the first inning with a spectacular diving catch that robbed Pacific’s John Haberman of an extra-base hit. USF was down 3-2 in the game’s early innings, but exploded for four runs in the fifth. Giarratano started the action with his first ever collegiate home run, junior first baseman Brendan Hendriks hit another solo shot just three batters later, and sophomore second baseman Michael Eaton’s two-out, two-RBI double gave USF a three-run advantage. The Tigers scored a whopping eight runs in the next two innings, though, including five runs in the seventh. The Dons mustered a run in the ninth, but it was not nearly enough to bring them back from the deficit.

Eaton led the Dons with four RBI’s on the afternoon. Despite his highlight-reel catch, Zimmer went 0-5 to end his nation-leading hitting streak at 19 games.

The result of USF’s home matchup with Nevada on Tuesday, April 15 was not available at press time. With the series loss to the Tigers, the Dons are two games behind fourth-place Gonzaga, who they will have to catch if they hope to make the upcoming WCC tournament. USF will look to get back to its winning ways when they visit first-place Pepperdine for a three-game series from Thursday, April 17 to Friday, April 19.