College offers support to VT

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April 25, 2007

1:49 AM

Amidst the unfolding chaos of last Monday’s shootings at Virginia Tech, the Williamsburg community was in shock. While many were left speechless, some students at the College began work on a banner to show the Hokies that the world mourns with them.

p. Sophomore Christina Hoffman was watching coverage of the tragedy when she decided she needed to act. Hoffman went to a small high school in northern Virginia and has a number of friends who attend Tech. She later found out that her friends were safe, but a sense of anxiety remained.

p. “I wanted to make the banner so that our Tribe community could have an outlet for the anxiety and the sadness and the helplessness that we all felt,” she said. “I was physically in Williamsburg, but my heart was with my friends in Blacksburg, and I think most of our campus felt the same way.”

p. The end result of this endeavor was nine 6 ft. x 2 ft. banners. While she is unsure how many students signed the banner, Hoffman estimates that over 108 square feet of space were covered with thoughts and prayers for students at Tech. Hoffman, along with other students at the College, drove the finished banner to Tech this weekend. The drive took four hours each way, a roundtrip of 500 miles.

p. The students had the opportunity to meet with Tech President Charles Steger. Hoffman remembers standing on the steps of Burruss Hall with the banners, while a number of students, parents and alumni came to thank them.

p. “It was truly an amazing experience to deliver the banner to their campus yesterday. I could see the difference it made in the faces of the students who read our messages and knew that four hours and 250 miles away in Williamsburg, there were students loving and supporting them,” Hoffman said.

p. The banner, along with those from colleges across the country, will remain hanging in the Virginia Tech Student Center. At a later date, they will be moved into the library with the rest of the memorials.

p. “To me, this banner was a step in the process of recovering from the shock. We all feel so safe on our little campus — we are all a family. Those students simply did what we all do everyday — they went to class,” Hoffman said. “Making the banner and reading the messages gave me the faith to know that Tech will recover.”

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