At Stephen F. Austin State University, as well as at universities across the nation, questions are being asked. Since the Virginia Tech tragedy students have begun to wonder what if it happened on our campus. Counselors, staff, faculty and students tried to answer some of those questions or at least begin a dialogue at a public forum. Counselors say this is the healthiest thing they could be doing.
This week in university classrooms subject notes were often put aside. The discussion wasn't what's on the next test, but what was happening at Virginia Tech. The caring teachers never discouraged it from happening. Psychology professor Dr. Lauren Scharff said, " We really need to acknowledge that we do have different people showing different responses and that the university does need to communicate what it's doing and we also want to be sure that the students that are personalizing a little bit more know what the resources are."
Some professors wanted to give students more time to exchange viewpoints about the week's tragic events. After all, their students grew up with school shootings. Criminal Justice professor, Karren Price shared, " It has been a revelation to me to realize that the kids that are on this campus had their middle school and high school years shaped by columbine. And now the rest of their college is going to be shaped by Virginia Tech."
The goal is to funnel concerns and worries in a healthy way. The idea of forming a human Virginia Tech logo and sending a photograph off to the Tech's student body president was embraced by administrators. Assistant Director of Student Affairs Michael Preston said it was, " To show them that we stand behind them and in addition we're going to be taking up a collection for the Hokie Memorial Fund."