North Carolina Newspapers

    VOLUME 116, ISSUE 32
One year later, campus moves on
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The Virginia Tech CRU Powderpuff team practices Saturday on the drillfield at the Blacksburg campus.
On April 16, 2007, Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people on campus before turning the gun on himself.
Reflecting from a distance
Editor's Note: Sophomore
Robby Francis transferred to
UNCfrom Virginia Tech this year.
These are his thoughts on the cam
pus shooting a year later.
April 16,2007, was a day that
turned my world upside down. It
was a day that redefined a univer
sity and changed lives forever.
Asa previous student of
Va. Tech, I endured what was
the most emotional and tragic
day of my life. As I sat in my
dorm room on the second floor
of West Ambler Johnston, I
watched the flood of worsening
news about what would be the
worst account of school violence
in U.S. history.
I saw the looks of despair,
gloom and misery. I felt an empty
feeling of hopelessness and was
surrounded by darkness.
Our world had been twisted
by this senseless and atrocious
act. At the time, it seemed as if
all hope was 105 t...
But this soon changed. What
followed was incredible. Our
moment of greatest despair was
paired with the greatest showing
of compassion I've experienced.
The outpouring of sympathy
and concern came from every
level. That day I received count
less e-mails and calls consoling
me. It didn’t just stop there.
Students from every university
sent their sentiments; political
leaders visited campus to pray for
the lives lost and thousands of vol
features | w :>
So make sure you know what
you're eating. Tips from a
nutritionist on what's good and
good for you at campus dining
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
®lip laily (Tar Heel
unteers came to comfort students.
Everywhere you looked there was
someone willing to help.
On the day of the convocation,
thousands ofVa. Tech Hokie fens
lined the streets clad in maroon
and orange waiting to pay their
respects to the 32 students and
teachers killed.
During the program you could
hear the crowd chanting the infa
mous 'Let’s Go, Hokies" cheer.
It was at this moment when
the true healing process began.
The university came together
and united around the true feel
ing of pride that Va. Tech thrives
on. In a way, we were all proud,
proud to be a Hokie and proud
of what we stood for.
Author Nikki Giovanni
summed it up best during her con
vocation speech; Through all this
sadness, we are the Hokies. We
will prevail... we are Va. Tech."
She was right we were still
working to get over this horrible
tragedy, but there was hope that
we would eventually overcome.
Still to this day, the Va. Tech
community is working to heal
the wound left from this absurd
act Today on this one-year anni
versary, please remember to keep
those affected by this tragedy in
your thoughts and prayers.
Together we stand united and
can accomplish the unthinkable.
The memories of April 16 will
live on, but with your help we
can overcome and strive for a
better and brighter future.
State | piigr (>
N.C. news organizations are
suing Gov. Mike Easley. They claim
that his policies and
practices regarding deleting e-mails
violate state public records laws.
Remembering those lost
A signed Virginia Tech hat adorns a cardboard memorial on the drillfield
in Blacksburg, Va., for the victims killed on April 16 of last year.
# ™
Va. Tech draws together to remember
One hundred years after its
founding and a year after a gun
man killed 32 people on campus,
Virginia Tech's Engineering Science
and Mechanics Department boasts
an all-time high enrollment.
“It's fitting that as we celebrate
our centennial we remember the
tragedy of last year but we also
look toward the future." said ESM
department head Ishwar Puri.
Puri lost two colleagues last
April l(i when Cho Seung-Hui, 23.
shot two of his fellow students in a
dormitory and then entered Norris
Hall, where he shot 30 students
and faculty before killing himself.
“I still remember the feeling of
sadness, of shock," Puri said. "I felt
that I had fallen down a precipice,
that 1 had fallen into an abyss."
The dizzying aftermath of the
tragedy has given way to anew
sense of purpose, as Puri and his
colleagues prepare to open new ser
vice-oriented research labs in the
once blood-stained Norris Hall.
The building will be fully opera
tional again this fall, after renova
tions complete the installation of
engineering labs, a global tech
nology hub and the newly ere
N.C. campuses retool safety
In the year since the Virginia
Tech shootings, North Carolina
universities have made changes to
campus security.
Some new initiatives were part
of ongoing efforts to evaluate how
to keep students safe, while others
have been prioritized after recom
mendations by two different cam
pus safety task forces.
The system-sponsored UNC
Campus Safety Task Force present
ed its findings in November 200",
while the task force appointed by
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper
released a report in January.
The task forces came to the table
Ross A. Alameddine
Christopher James Bishop
Brian R. Bluhm
Ryan Christopher Clark
Austin Michelle Cloyd
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva
Kevin P. Granata
Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
Caitlin Millar Hammaren
Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
university | page 9 j
The Daily Tar Heel examines
higher education movers and
shakers who fit the criteria and
position description identified by
the chancellor search committee.
ated Center for Peace Studies and
Violence Prevention.
“This change in both the appear
ance of the area and in the purpose
of the activity in place of just simple
classroom teaching in that area is
suitable," Puri said. “It also takes us
beyond our personal and profession
al loss, and it helps in our recovery ."
Sue Ott Rowlands, Va. Tech dean
of liberal arts and human sciences,
said the peace studies center will
expand on the university's commit
ment to service that grew out of the
tragic events of April 16.
The program, called VT
ENGAGE, has already logged
nearly 250,000 hours of student,
faculty and staff volunteer work.
“In a way we re trying to take
what happened on April 16 and turn
it to the most positive effort that we
can imagine," Rowlands said.
Today the university will honor
the memory of its 32 fallen Hokies
with an official commemoration
held on the university driUfield and
a candlelight vigil.
Many other anniversary events
on the Blacksburg. Va., campus
this week seek to use the arts as a
means of reflection.
“It's a deep, human need to
express." said Shannon Turner, pro-
with dove-tailing plans for how the
state's universities could best pre
vent and respond to issues of cam
pus security, ranging from mental
health to emergency preparedness
and support services.
“Universities in North Carolina
are already doing a lot to promote
campus safety." said Brad Wilson,
chairman of the state task force
and a member of the UNC-system
Board of Governors.
“Things are in place on our cam
puses to make them safe," he said.
“But we identified needs in the
future that will require funding
from the General Assembly."
The Board of Gov ernors’ 2008-
09 budget will go before the N.C.
Rachael Elizabeth Hill
Emily Jane Hilscher
Jarrett Lee Lane
Matthew Joseph La Porte
Henry J. Lee
Liviu Librescu
G.V. Loganathan
Partahi Mamora Halomoan
Lauren Ashley McCain
Daniel Patrick O'Neil
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On the night of the shootings, three Virginia Tech students mourn the loss
of their classmates at a vigil held outside the War Memorial Chapel.
this day in history
APRIL 16, 2002...
Two UNC seniors are robbed at
gunpoint about 4 a.m. near
campus. The victims said they feel
less safe near UNCs campus after
the incident.
This ribbon, made by third-grader
Madison Belle, has hung on a tree
outside a Blacksburg, Va., elemen
tary school since April 2007.
gram coordinator of the commu
nity group Honoring Experiences.
Reflections and Expressions.
“Art making is directly tied to the
Turner said the arts events in
Blacksburg this week are seeking
to recapture the emotional spirit of
the tragedy's immediate aftermath.
General Assembly in May, with $29
million in new funding for campus
safety at the top of its priorities.
UNC-Chapel Hill has already
begun meeting the UNC Campus
Safety Task Force's recommendations
for the first deadline in August.
Emergency notification
■ Alert Carolina, UNC-CH's
emergency notification program,
utilized its emergency text mes
saging for the first time March 5.
when students were alerted of an
off-campus shooting victim later
determined to be former Student
Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz
Minal Hiralal Panchal
Erin Nicole Peterson
Michael Steven Pohle Jr.
Julia Kathleen Pryde
Mary Karen Read
Reema Joseph Samaha
Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
Leslie Geraldine Sherman
Maxine Shelly Turner
Nicole Regina White
O Sunny
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