Geneseo grieves with Virginia Tech

Student Association Resolution:

"Be it resolved that the Student Association Executive Committee, as representatives of the Student Association and on behalf of the student body at SUNY Geneseo, expresses its heartfelt and sincere condolences to the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the victims' families and the campus community. The students of Geneseo stand shoulder to shoulder with these individuals; may they find comfort and solace in their time of need."

Yesterday at noon the sound of 33 tolls of the Sturges carillon could be heard across campus as students hurried to and from their classes. The peals, each one representing a life lost at Virginia Tech this past Monday, were a somber reminder to Geneseo community members of the momentous tragedy that recently took place.

Student response to the worst campus shooting in U.S. history has been of a common view: disbelief, sadness and heartfelt sympathy. For many students, the tragedy hit especially close to home due to the fact that most of the victims were college students themselves. "The fact that a tragedy like that happened in a small town makes me realize it could happen anywhere," said freshman Gillian Grobe.

This concern parallels the e-mail message sent to Geneseo students by President Christopher Dahl on Tuesday night which stated, "Our campus shares a common bond with Virginia Tech in that we, too, enjoy the peace and friendliness afforded by our geography and location." Dahl expressed his sadness at the situation and assured Geneseo students that the College will always do its best to keep the campus safe. Concern has been raised among some students, however, that the e-mail system used to alert individuals to campus-wide emergencies is not adequate should such a situation arise. Sophomore Krystal Fryzel said, "I was concerned about the mass communication issue, [since] nothing exists other than e-mail and you may not check that all day."

In an effort to show support for the Virginia Tech community, students and faculty have organized several events. Geneseo First Response (GFR) captain Erica Truncale recently contacted the Rochester Institute of Technology Ambulance (RITA) and the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) at the University of Rochester, and collectively they are putting together a banner that will be sent to the EMT squad at Virginia Tech on Friday.

Truncale said, "I really wanted to do something to send to them. These people are like our brothers and sisters and I can understand the mental burden of having to deal with a mass casualty situation like that." She also stated that it was especially hard for her because, "Virginia Tech also has a student EMS service VITA, which was represented at the [National Collegiate EMS Foundation] conference in February along with our own Geneseo First Response." Student Emmanuel Adjin, whose has been involved with GFR for three years, said that, "It's so hard to understand what happened, but I believe that they will come out of this strong."

Last night, an interfaith prayer service called "A Prayer for Peace" was held at the Interfaith Center to allow campus community members the opportunity to go and pray for everyone affected by Monday's events. In addition, during All-College-Free Hour on Thursday, April 19, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., there will be a banner in the Union which individuals can sign with personal messages that will be sent to the students at Virginia Tech.

By order of Governor Eliot Spitzer, the flag on the College Green will fly at half mast until Monday, April 23, as a tribute to individuals who lost their lives.