Victoria Plotkin, twin sister of Vanessa Plotkin and best friend of Jenny Morris — roomates who died in Friday’s Ghost Ship fire in Oakland — breaks down at a vigil at UC Berkeley on Thursday, Dec. 7. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Victoria Plotkin, twin sister of Vanessa Plotkin and best friend of Jenny Morris — roomates who died in Friday’s Ghost Ship fire in Oakland — breaks down at a vigil at UC Berkeley on Thursday, Dec. 7. Photo: Kelly Sullivan

UC Berkeley held a vigil Thursday at noon to honor the memory of five people with university ties who lost their lives in Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire last week.

Among the 36 confirmed fatalities are two undergraduates, roommates Jenny Morris, 21, of Foster City and Vanessa Plotkin, 21, of Lakewood; recent graduates Griffin Madden, 23, who worked for Cal Performances and 24-year-old David Cline; and 33-year-old Chelsea Dolan, or DJ Cherushii, a volunteer at campus radio station KALX.  A web page created by Cal includes information about the victims.

The city of Oakland completed search and recovery efforts Wednesday at 1315 31st Ave. in Oakland’s Fruitvale district. The city is now working on its investigation into what caused the fire and deciding whether to file criminal charges in connection with the conflagration. Authorities have said the fire was the nation’s deadliest in more than a decade.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks spoke at Thursday’s event, which ran from noon to 1 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. Friends and relatives of the deceased also shared their remarks: Cal Performances director Matías Tarnopolsky, on Madden; Tim Lynch of International House, on Cline; Jenn Stringer from KALX, where Dolan, Plotkin and Madden all had volunteered; and members of the Morris, Plotkin and Madden families.

In a statement released before the vigil, Dirks wrote: “Now is a time when we all need support as we collectively and individually seek to begin the process of healing and recovery. This is a time to lean on and hold up each other.”

The campus is offering counseling services to those coping with grief, and the Dean of Students’ office is collecting cards and letters for the families of the deceased.

Cal Performances is also offering members of the campus community complimentary tickets for the Saturday, Dec. 10, 8 p.m. performance of Handel’s Messiah at Zellerbach Hall. “This communal event, and the beauty of this music, will offer a special opportunity for solace, support and reflection in these saddest of times,” wrote Dirks.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks speaks at a vigil for UC Berkeley-related victims of the Oakland warehouse fire. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Gary Plotkin, father of UC Berkeley student Vanessa Plotkin, at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Gary Plotkin, father of UC Berkeley student Vanessa Plotkin, at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Michael Morris, father of UC Berkeley student Jenny Morris, with other family members at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Michael Morris, father of UC Berkeley student Jenny Morris, with other family members at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Community members signed a poster for Jenny Morris at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Community members signed a poster for Jenny Morris at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Community members sign posters to remember those who died in last week’s Oakland warehouse fire. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Community members sign posters to remember those who died in last week’s Oakland warehouse fire. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
Memorial poster for Vanessa Plotkin: “Vanessa is and was a bright star and will live on.” Photo: Ted Friedman
Memorial poster for Vanessa Plotkin: “Vanessa is and was a bright star and will live on.” Photo: Ted Friedman
A community member signs a poster for Jenny Morris at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Ted Friedman
A community member signs a poster for Jenny Morris at Thursday’s vigil. Photo: Ted Friedman
Memorial poster for Griffin Madden: “In mythology, griffins are magical. So were you.” Photo: Ted Friedman
Memorial poster for Griffin Madden: “In mythology, griffins are magical. So were you.” Photo: Ted Friedman
A memorial poster for Chelsea Faith Dolan, known also as Cherushii, her DJ name. Photo: Ted Friedman

Those who want to donate to help all families of those affected by the fire can donate to the Alameda County Disaster Relief Fund.

See updates about the fire from the city of Oakland, as well as a list of events that have been planned to remember those who were lost. See related coverage on Berkeleyside.

Related:
Remembering Jonathan Bernbaum, world-renowned visual projection artist (12.08.16) 
Memorials begin for 11 people who died in Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire (12.06.16) 
Remembering David Cline: ‘A ferociously brilliant student and impossibly bright mind’ (12.05.16)
Beloved ‘VJ’ and BHS alum killed in Oakland fire; LA vigil planned for Jonathan Bernbaum (12.05.16)
3 with Berkeley ties dead, 3 reported missing in Oakland fire (12.014.16)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...