Carson consoles in tragedy

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  • Carson consoles in tragedy

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Carson consoles in tragedy

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<b>New leader reaching out to Va. Tech</b>

By: Meghan E. Woods, Staff Writer
Posted: 4/23/07

Not even three weeks into her term, Student Body President Eve Carson has found herself trying to console both the UNC and Virginia Tech campuses.

Hours after learning of the Va. Tech tragedy, in which 32 people were killed by a suicidal student gunman, Carson, along with student body presidents from other schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, formed an e-mail listserv to send messages of condolence to Va. Tech student government leaders.

"Hearing the news was just so incredibly shocking," Carson said. "The listserv was a way of reaching out. In a moment of need, there&#39;s nothing like having someone to reach out to you."

Carson said she hopes to expand the communication between the schools by encouraging UNC student leaders to reach out to their counterparts in Blacksburg.

"We&#39;re asking people to send their counterparts an e-mail or a letter," Carson said. "Just something to let them know you&#39;re thinking about them. We thought it&#39;d be important to show that we were caring about the Virginia Tech community."

Carson said that the matchup program is a collaborative idea and that she has been motivated to reach out because of her experiences with the death of Jason Ray, the UNC senior who portrayed Rameses for three seasons .

"When Jason Ray died, I received a number of letters from people expressing their sympathy," said Carson, who took office the week after Ray&#39;s death. "I thought it was so incredible. It&#39;s nice to know that others are with you and thinking of you."

Carson also is talking to UNC athletics officials about putting Va. Tech emblems on baseball helmets and working with other ACC schools to coordinate a full-page advertisement in the Collegiate Times, the Va. Tech student newspaper, expressing support during the wake of the tragedy.

Former Student Body President Seth Dearmin said communication among students was the path toward healing last March when nine people were injured after UNC alumnus Mohammad Taheri-Azar drove a rented sport utility vehicle through the Pit.

"After the incident, communication was positive and crucial," he said. "As a result, we brought panels together and councils to talk about what had happened and what it meant on a larger scale."

James Allred, who was student body president-elect at the time, said finding outlets for students&#39; feelings was also important in handling the incident.

"We really focused on how to help students express the shock and concern they felt," he said. "As president, I think the first duty is to make sure the student body has a way to cope."

Dearmin said that even though the Pit incident was different than the Va. Tech tragedy, being student body president during any significant event is stressful.

"It&#39;s a lot of pressure that gets thrown on you," he said. "It&#39;s pressure that comes out of nowhere for an event that you have no control over. It comes out of the blue, but it does provide a good learning experience."

Carson said she hopes communication will help foster better ties between UNC and Va. Tech.

"It&#39;s important to show our commitment to Virginia Tech," she said.

"We want to be in personal touch and personal communication with people at Virginia Tech. Hopefully, we&#39;ll be better connected in the future."

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Original Source: <a href=http://media.www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2007/04/23/University/Carson.Consoles.In.Tragedy-2873070.shtml>The Daily Tar Heel - April 23, 2007</a>

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Meghan E. Woods

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Date

2007-07-16

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Sara Hood

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Kevin Schwartz <kschwartz@unc.edu>

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eng

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Meghan E. Woods, "Carson consoles in tragedy," in The April 16 Archive, Item #747, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/747 (accessed September 1, 2014).