The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

41° Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Friends Gather at Vigil to Remember Yanique

Yanique Bailey was not just another face in the crowd.

Even in death, images of her and her friends were projected onto the large screen in the Student Activities Center, Wednesday night, where almost 200 people came to remember a friend.

Two weeks ago she was fatally shot along with her mother Dionne, and 14-year-old sister Yolon in their Queens home.

There were friends, teachers and people who only met her once. In the front sat Yanique’s friends who organized the vigil. They draped the room with purple – Yanique’s favorite color.

In front of the crowd her friends recited a line of a prayer and then lit one of the 19 candles. And in the back of the room was a table set up where her friends could write messages on postcards to be given to her family and doves that will be hung in her dorm building.

But just a short walk away was her real home, the library.

“She lived in that library,” said Brittany Greaney as she went to do a reading at the vigil. “We were there until they kicked us out.”

They would spend hours there. Sometimes doing work and others just talking about anything and everything.

“Our last conversation was for two hours in the library,” Christina Samuel said. “We jumped from topic to topic. It was the day before a midterm but there we were.”

Karishma Rana and Ashu Kapoor last said goodbye to their friend in the library two weeks ago before she went home.

They talked for hours. Yanique went on about everything from how great she did on her organic chemistry test to how she was going to miss her train, and even a boy.

She left her calculator there and said she would pick it up Monday.

“But what do I hear on Monday?” Karishma said. “The worst news I could ever hear.”

Everyone mentioned her smile. She always had a smile on her face and would greet everyone as a friend. She would just walk up to random people around campus and say hello. She knew everyone and could always put a smile on your face. She was part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and choreographer for Jawani De Nakhre, a new dance group on campus.

She loved rock music. She used to write the lyrics to her favorite songs on her binders when she was bored. Lacrosse was her game and she was always running in and out of the library – textbooks in hand.

Education was important to her. Britney said she dreamt of going to Dartmouth University after she graduated. And she aspired to be a surgeon in obstetrics and gynecology.

Yanique was a driven student who pushed herself and her friends to do their best and then do more. Her friends would be excited they got a B but she would want them to do better. She strived for the best.

Yanique loved her friends. Britney met Yanique the first day she moved in. They weren’t roommates but they might as well have been.

“We would wear the same things, call each other when the other was thinking about calling the other.”

Last Halloween they coordinated and dressed Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes. The last time they were together they spent the night together just chatting and watching TV.

On Monday Britney logged onto Facebook and found out her friend died. It was not the best way to find out.

The outpour of support even extended as far as the president of the university.

“I know very few words that will allow me to comfort you and all of Yanique’s friends,” said Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “I can only say in honor of Yanique that I hope that you, and as I will, will take the time to be a kinder and better person. To honor her and do the kinds of things she did.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Statesman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Statesman

Comments (0)

All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *