Just wanted to say something about what happened at Northern Illinois yesterday. As the daughter and sister of NIU graduates, and someone who has attended many, many events on a campus just a short drive from where I grew up, I just feel so sad today.
When Virginia Tech happened, I was stunned, but it was so far away and I was so far removed from it. This hits way closer to home, figuratively and literally. I have such admiration for so many people involved in this situation. When I was in Nashville earlier this year, I attended an educational session on communicating in a crisis. Officials from Virginia Tech and Bluffton University both spoke on their experiences in the wake of their tragedies. I was so impressed and moved by the stories. And now I’m just saddened that it’s happening all over again, just 25 miles from the house my mother lives in today.
This scares me as a parent, as someone who works in higher education, as a former Illinoisan, as an American.
I love the ivory tower. I loved the college experience. I love visiting campuses now, seeing the students, all fresh-faced and idealistic and ready to conquer the world. It’s energizing and reinvigorating. That experience is about to be taken away from all of us who aren’t attending or working at a higher education institution. College campuses will turn into high security zones with armed guards, ID swipes and metal detectors in doorways and no access to the public. Like my high school. And the Pentagon.
Is this a good thing? Will it really make our kids safer? And how would I feel if R were a college student?