“3 Students Shot to Death in Apartment Near UNC Chapel Hill”
I immediately read through the brief article and texted a college friend who is finishing up graduate studies at UNC. According to my friend, the perpetrator was prone to getting into squabbles with neighbors over mundane things, such as parking. Much of the media’s response has so far focused on whether or not religion played a part in the event that transpired. The three students who were killed were Muslim; the perpetrator allegedly had a history of shunning religion (in general) on his Facebook account. However, the wife of the perpetrator denies this allegation, and instead noted a history of disputes between her husband and the victims regarding parking. Regardless of motive, the loss of three young lives is extremely sad.
Events of this nature that occur on or near college campuses brings a University’s response to tragedy into the forefront of the media. Questions regarding safety, anti-violence policies, and counseling services arise. Chancellor Carol L. Folt sent a message to the UNC community (available online) today in response to the event. A vigil was held tonight in honor of the three students who lost their lives yesterday. This comes in the wake of the manhunt that happened in Blacksburg just last week and the VT Police Department’s e-mail response to the Virginia Tech community (the timeliness of which was criticized by some). Preparedness seems to lie in the aftermath, providing counseling and psychological services to the affected community. (That being said, here’s a link to the Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech.)