I am honestly at a loss for what to say about the events that unfolded on the Virginia Tech campus this morning. I was walking across the Drillfield towards GBJ when firing broke out in Norris hall. I had heard nothing about the previous shootings in West AJ. While I recognize that the decision to go on with classes was an informed one, I still feel that it was the University’s responsibility to inform the students of potential danger.
I consider myself extremely fortunate that neither I nor anyone I know was involved. I spent the morning trying to touch base with as many people as possible until the phone network here became absolutely saturated. I hope that I was at least able to set up a cascade so that people wouldn’t have to be worried about my safety. That being said, it’s extremely difficult to place my reaction. Obviously I am not as heavily affected as those whose loved ones have been injured or killed. At the same time though, this is very jarring for everyone involved. I don’t think I’ll really know how I feel for a while yet. They don’t tell you how to react to this sort of thing.
UPDATE 17 Apr 2007 11:21p: I have been mostly disgusted by the media coverage of this event. I think that larger and more distant news outlets get things the most wrong, and locals do the best job. CNN’s article is as sensationalizing as the rest, but if you scroll down towards the bottom, Gov. Tim Kaine’s remarks perfectly echo my sentiment. “People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride, I’ve got nothing but loathing for them.” I don’t deny that there are questions that need to be asked, but there are more important things to deal with right now.
On the other side of the coin, I am deeply touched by the outpouring of support from universities and individual students across the country and abroad. There has been a huge “We are all Hokies” movement, with students wearing maroon and orange to show support. That is probably the best response that I’ve heard about. I’m glad that the younger generation have a grip on what’s important. We’re going to need it going forward.