Four days before the eighth anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, the nation was unfortunately reminded yesterday that tragedy can strike anywhere – even in our schools.
The events, which unfolded yesterday at Virginia Tech’s campus, left 33 people dead, and shocked and devastated thousands of students. Those looking for answers watched television news stations, or went en masse to Internet news sites. This included the website for the Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech’s newspaper, which was forced to relocate to another server after a flood of visitors from across the country logged in to read its constant updates on the situation.
Back here at UCSB, over 300 students gathered in Storke Plaza last night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the victims and to share their thoughts and feelings. Students and administrators alike expressed their concerns over campus safety and student health. Counseling & Career Services psychologist Dr. Jeanne Stanford called the incident a “wake-up call for us all,” and reminded students that counseling services are available to everyone on campus. She also reminded students that not every person deals with death in the same way and to respect each other’s method.
That said, we at the Daily Nexus would like to pay our respects to those whose lives were lost yesterday. While we may still be vulnerable to such tragedies occurring here, we should take this time to reevaluate our interactions with others. We should do as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young suggested yesterday and look out for each other as well as the rest of the members of our community.
For as we learned yesterday, these things can happen anywhere.