just a quick note

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?

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7 Responses to just a quick note

  1. marmagoo says:

    So very sad. When I lived in the dorms, (93-94) we had to swipe cards to get in AND out. Sadly we were ahead of the times but it does make me feel better knowing that those kids are a little safer. (And I went to a wee little bitty school).

  2. Victoria says:

    We used to have to swipe cards to get into our dorms and to get into certain buildings (like the band rehearsal rooms) during certain times a day. But stuff like this… you never expect it to happen.
    How are you handling it? Nobody you know was hurt, were they? You’ll be in my thoughts.

  3. vixensden says:

    I hope it will make the kids safer. I hate the idea of our colleges looking like airports, but I just can’t stomach innocent kids being at risk while they are learning. It is terrible and sad. I wish there was another way.

  4. Sarah says:

    I completely missed this on the news until oh-dark-thirty this morning. My heart goes out to all of the students and their families.. the only silver lining is that communities come together and show their strength at a time like this.

    It makes me terrified for our children.

  5. Erin says:

    This was so scary yesterday! It’s so much more real when it happens just miles from your house! So many teachers I know take classes on that campus, and one of my best friends was there for an interview. It was unreal.

    I agree with you about the college experience. I loved college. I feel more nostalgia for U of I then I’ve ever felt for anywhere else. We still go back and visit friends down there in the summer….and I would go back in a heartbeat. What will it be like to walk around the Quad with armed guards???

  6. Christina says:

    I dont know what the answer is, but we need more security that much is clear. It terrifies me too, doubly even. I’ve never divulged this here, Mike is a Professor at OSU, who would have thought that the wife of a prof would worry about his saftey at work? Its Eff’d up!

  7. There was so much conversation after what happened here in Colorado – yet, Columbine wasn’t the first and clearly not the last. My opinion is that it’s easier to get guns than it is to get help. As long as that’s true? We’ll continue to see these incidents.

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