International Students React to Virginia Tech Tragedy - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/18/07 - Nacogdoches

International Students React to Virginia Tech Tragedy

by Donna McCollum

International student Lok Fung Law knows diversity awareness well. Standing in front of a a world map he points to places familiar to him. " I was born in Hong Kong. Then when I was 8 I moved to Jamaica. I was offered a scholarship, so now I'm in East Texas in Nacogdoches at SFA." Where the international business student watched the Virginia Tech tragedy unroll and learned the shooter was an international Asian student.   " It was just shocking to me," said Fung Law about his first reaction. He knows international students are screened closely. He knows their overall dedication.

Then he began to think about Cho Seung-Hui's.  The shooter was South Korean.  Fung Law fears, "It's going to create trouble for us here too because everybody will look at us differently." Natee Kong Chan, a SFA biotech student from Thailand shares a similar concern. " Most American people cannot distinguish Asian people, rather they are from Korea or from Japan. They say, they're all the same. They look the same."

No unfair treatment has been reported by any foreign student at SFA. Friends provide reassurance.   Assistant director of student affairs, Michael Preston said, " we've got one student who is of Korean descent that is really kinda taking it hard in terms of how folks are going to see him on campus and his fellow students and some of the organizations he is in said that has nothing to do with you, this has everything to do with one particular student."

A student who was obviously troubled. This explains why Natee's biggest worry are gun laws much more lenient than what's seen in his native country. He noted, " Everybody can have guns, so I didn't know where it's going to happen again." A concern of many, no matter where you're from.  

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