Well-wishers react to Va. shooting

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Well-wishers react to Va. shooting

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By Allie Lowe, The Dartmouth Staff
April 17, 2007


Braving the rain and wind, approximately 100 members of the Dartmouth community gathered on Collis porch Monday night to recognize the individuals killed in that morning's shootings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

The two shootings, the first of which occurred in a dormitory and the second in a classroom building, took place two hours apart and left 32, plus the gunman, dead. The event marks the most deadly shooting in U.S. history.

Monday night's vigil was organized by Haley Morris '08 and Heather Strack '07. Morris first had the idea to plan the event after receiving word of the events in an e-mail sent to her sorority, Sigma Delta.

"These are our peers in another institution and I thought that they shouldn't be alone right now," Morris said.

Other campus organizations, including the Tucker Foundation, the Panhellenic Council and several Greek houses, provided funding and support.

"This event was really pulled together by an interesting network of Blitzing," Strack said. "In an hour, it was done."

At the ceremony, Strack and Morris read excerpts from an e-mail received from Julie Walters Steele of Virginia Tech's Unions and Student Activities office, thanking Dartmouth for its support.

Following a brief moment of silence, the Ladies of Logos, an a cappella group comprised of members of the Gospel Choir, sang to the crowd.

"I'm really proud of Dartmouth," RuDee Lipscomb '08, a member of the Ladies of Logos, said. "[This event] restores your faith in the College."

After the event, students were invited to sign several large cards which will remain in Collis during the day tomorrow, and then be sent to Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

Dean of the College Dan Nelson characterized the administration's reaction to the event as "one of profound sorrow and shock."

"It's hard to imagine how any community deals with such a shocking, senseless, awful tragedy," Nelson said.

Though he emphasized Dartmouth's safety, Nelson said that no campus can consider itself resistant to all violence.

"We've all learned in reading newspapers and watching the news over the years that disturbed people can do senseless tragic things everywhere," Nelson said. "This is a relatively safe community, but in our lives none of us are ultimately absolutely protected or immune from something like that."

Hanover Police Chief Nicholas Giaccone agreed that the event shows that there exists the potential for violence in any community.

Giaccone said that the Hanover Police Department's officers are prepared to respond to events like those that occurred at Virginia Tech on Monday.

"Our officers are trained and are equipped to handle a dynamic event when it first starts," Giaccone said. "Although we have access to a SWAT team, putting a SWAT team in operation would be at least an hour's wait, so the officers that are on duty have to handle the situation, and go where the shots are being heard and try to neutralize it."

Giaccone did note one potential obstacle in the Police Department's response to an emergency.

"The College for whatever reason refuses to give police access to the dorms, so if the situation should arise on campus the police may be a little hamstrung in getting in and out of dorms should a situation like that occur."

New Hampshire, Giaccone said, has relatively lax gun laws as a result of a strong gun lobby. It is legal in New Hampshire, for example, to carry an exposed firearm, as long as the carrier does not have a felony record. Students wishing to have a gun at Dartmouth are required to store it with Safety and Security.

College Proctor and Director of Safety and Security Harry Kinne was unavailable for comment by press time.

Throughout the day on Monday, students, faculty, and staff sought to share updates and information about the tragedy.

E-mail with news updates circulated around many Greek houses, as well as among other campus organizations.

Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority president Abby Reed '08 said that members of her sorority sent out e-mails with updates throughout the day. Members were also encouraged to attend Monday's vigil.

"It obviously came as a big shock," Reed said. "It makes us aware of the dangers that go on at all college campuses, even though we all feel really safe here."

Many students were impacted by the parallels between Dartmouth and Virginia Tech.

"I've never cried watching the news before," Kelly McLaughlin '07 said. "It sounded so much like it could happen here in a way."

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Original Source: <a href=http://thedartmouth.com/2007/04/17/news/virginia/> The Dartmouth - April 17, 2007</a>


Reprinted with the permission of The Dartmouth

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Allie Lowe

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2007-07-11

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Sara Hood

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"Edward D. Kalletta III" <publisher@thedartmouth.com>

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eng

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Allie Lowe, "Well-wishers react to Va. shooting," in The April 16 Archive, Item #691, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/691 (accessed September 23, 2014).