Staff Editorial: In wake of Tech tragedy, time for solidarity

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April 17, 2007

3:01 AM

Yesterday’s tragic events at Virginia Tech produced one of the saddest and darkest days in recent American history. Our hearts and minds are with the students still in Blacksburg and elsewhere, the families and friends of those affected and also our own peers here at the College. Whatever new information and discoveries the coming days and weeks bring, we must lean on one another when necessary, provide support to any friends or relatives we have in the Blacksburg area or on the Tech campus and address the College’s ability to respond to such occurrences in order to increase our own sense of security and well-being.

p. It is difficult to find a student or a member of this community who has not been touched by this horrific tragedy. As a state institution, the College shares a common bond, mission and purpose with the Virginia Tech campus and community. Many of us have classmates, friends and other personal connections to Tech. Even those from out of state and around the nation have been affected by this deplorable event, as students of similar age and experiences, as Americans and as human beings. We have seen the members of our community with fewer personal ties to Tech lend helping hands to their friends, many of whom spent Monday frantically calling friends and relatives.

p. President Nichol’s offer to assist the campus, community and administration of Virginia Tech — whether through additional law enforcement or counseling contributions — is extremely admirable, and represents the spirit that is needed to heal these wounds, whether in Blacksburg, Virginia or nationwide.

p. Counselors have been made available on campus to respond to individual student concerns and work with those who have been affected by this catastrophic event. Last night’s well-attended vigil and other informal prayer assemblies and gatherings, quickly organized by concerned students and staff, serve as both a reminder and as validation that now, more than ever, our sense of community is of paramount importance.

p. We hope that through this tragedy, potential vulnerabilities and concerns on our own campus may be brought to light and addressed. After speaking with administrators, we have unwavering confidence in the College’s ability to respond to emergency situations, particularly as meetings addressing improvements to emergency communications systems have been taking place recently. We are proud to attend such a safe and caring institution, yet a tragedy that hits so close to home must remind us that improvement is always possible.

p. At the moment, however, our biggest concern must be to show solidarity and express our deepest condolences to Virginia Tech. This despicable act has left us all in a state of mourning, and we must be ready and willing to open our arms to any friends or peers who have concerns. As we move forward, we must not forget what has been lost.

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