Distraught, Duke asks questions

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Distraught, Duke asks questions

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<i>2 days later, campus still rattled by tragedy</i>

By: Kristen Davis
Posted: 4/18/07

More than a hundred students, faculty and administrators bowed their heads in silence at 2 p.m. Tuesday, as the Duke Chapel bell tolled 33 times-once for each casualty of the Virginia Tech shootings.

The interfaith vigil-which was organized by Craig Kocher, assistant dean of the Chapel and director of religious life-was held at the same time as a memorial service in Blacksburg, Va., to display solidarity between Virginia Tech and Duke.

In his reflection, Dean of the Chapel Samuel Wells spoke about the "fragile beauty" of human life and prayed for all those affected by the tragedy.

A Buddhist chant of compassion was offered, and Carlisle Harvard, director of the International House, urged students to be sympathetic to Korean students&#39; possible anxiety over the ethnicity of the shooter, who was identified Tuesday.

Many Duke students-including some of the more than 500 undergraduates and graduates who call Virginia home-said that in the past two days they have felt the effects of the tragedy in a variety of ways.

"Being at Duke, we usually don&#39;t have time to deal with personal issues, so it was good to have time to release and vent and have a moment of silence," said Tiffany Scott, a senior from Virginia who added that she was relieved to learn that none of her friends at Virginia Tech had been hurt.

Alan Combs, a third-year Divinity School student who is also from Virginia, said his brother-in-law, a freshman at Virginia Tech, used his cell phone to take one of the pictures that appeared on CNN.com.

Combs&#39; brother-in-law was not injured in the shootings, but at least one of his friends was killed.

Combs, along with several other students, said the events encouraged deeper self-reflection.

"[The massacre] reminds everyone of the contingency of our lives, which is not necessarily something to be fearful of, but more of a reminder that I don&#39;t control my own life," Combs said.

Many students also said that although they have made an effort to keep updated with news of the incident, they do not approve of the media&#39;s coverage of it.

"I tried to avoid watching the television because instead of acknowledging the tragedy, they spend time specifying motives and who&#39;s to blame," Combs said.

Students have used Internet technology, however, to broadcast their support for their fellow college students at Virginia Tech.

The Facebook group "We Love You, Virginia Tech (Dukies in Support of Techies on a terrible day)" had 144 members as of Tuesday night, and many students have changed their Facebook profile pictures to a black ribbon with the maroon Virginia Tech insignia. "A lot of schools are creating their own logos [with their mascots] for support," junior Nick Pardo said. "&#39;Today we are all Hokies.&#39;"

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Original Source: <a href=http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2007/04/18/News/Distraught.Duke.Asks.Questions-2849464.shtml> Duke Chronicle - April 18, 2007</a>

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Kristen Davis

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2007-06-24

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Sara Hood

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David Graham <david.graham@duke.edu>

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eng

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Kristen Davis, "Distraught, Duke asks questions," in The April 16 Archive, Item #599, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/599 (accessed September 2, 2014).