Today was the day it happened to me. There was a violent attack on *my* campus and it ended with at least four wounded and one dead. I was not on campus when it happened, I am still unsure whether any of my students were involved. At this point I am not sure what to say or do.
The mother in me wants to give every single student a hug and tell them its ok to cry. To take deep breaths. To encourage them to talk about their feelings. To grieve the hurt of their classmates and campus staff, and the loss of a young life. To take inventory of what they are thankful for and to stay open.
The professor in me wants to call an open campus forum. To allow for a safe space for students to come together to share their concerns. To get the facts. To disseminate resources. To discuss factors that have been linked to mass violence on school campuses, like mental health issues, social isolation, masculinity, etc.
The activist in me wants to disagree that this is “not the time to make things political.” To confront the ignorance I see on social media. To recognize how much more tragic this could have been if we were an open carry campus. To make the point that the only death came at the hands of those carrying guns… and badges.
For now I will commend those who took action today. I will uplift the UCM community and remained inspired by everyone’s unity and goodwill in the aftermath. I will thank God it wasn’t worse. And I will continue to indulge in chocolate.