SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (KERO) — Cal Poly students, led by freshman Michelle Mueller, honored Kristin Smart with a candlelight vigil Tuesday night.
In light of Paul and Ruben Flores being arrested early in the morning, Mueller decided to take time to remember the Smart family.
Michelle Mueller said, “Honestly I got a little emotional hearing that Paul and his dad got arrested. I put a tiny little candle outside of the Santa Lucia building where I live.”
Mueller said her vigil was originally supposed to be with only her friends.
Once other students found out about the vigil, the number of students in attendance grew significantly outside of Santa Lucia Hall.
Cal Poly student Lena Demsky said, “I don’t think it’s something that is talked about enough and it’s cool that students now who didn’t even know Kristin are organizing stuff like this.”
Cal Poly student Lily Gilmore said, “Just today Paul was arrested years and years later, it’s insane, I can’t believe it. If that was me, I’d wish that someone would have been convicted so much sooner.”
The students also took the time to shed light on safety issues women face 25 years after Smart went missing.
Mueller said, “It’s also a reminder to college women everywhere that they have to watch their surroundings and that 25 years later it’s a threat to women on college campuses.”
Demsky said, “I think it’s something that isn’t talked about enough, especially on campus in terms of safety, especially for girls at night and the fact it could happen to anyone is definitely scary.”
Gilmore said, “Just the fact that it could happen to me or anyone else here really stuck with me and I think that is why it became important to me.”