Campus responds to Va. Tech shootings

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Campus responds to Va. Tech shootings

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By: Sara Dover
Posted: 4/17/07
NYU officials heightened security on campus in wake of yesterday's mass shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute that left 33 people dead.

The lone gunman also wounded 29 others before shooting and killing himself at the school in Blacksburg, Va., making it the deadliest mass shooting in American history, CNN reported. The shooting began when two people were killed at a dormitory around 7:15 a.m. yesterday, and 30 more were killed about two hours later at Norris Hall, the university's engineering science and mechanics building.

University spokesman John Beckman said that the shooting is a horrible tragedy for the nation as well as higher education.

"I think that everyone on this campus is grief stricken over what happened at Virginia Tech," Beckman said. "It is a tragic and sorrowful day for higher education to think of so many lives lost in what appears to be an appalling and utterly senseless act."

Beckman said that, though it is difficult to draw lessons from the tragedy because so much is still unknown, Public Safety is heightening security on campus "over the next day or so to provide a sense of reassurance for the community and to let them know that we have their safety on the forefront of our minds."

In addition to being on high alert, patrol officers will double and triple up while on duty for the next day or so, Public Safety officials said.

Beckman also urged students to remember the availability of the Wellness Exchange for those who are affected by the tragedy and need someone to talk to.

Many NYU students said they knew others at Virginia Tech who they were concerned about.

"I'm really worried about a lot of people I know [that] go there," said GSP freshman Kathy Chau. "It's surprising, Blacksburg is in the middle of nowhere. Everyone was scared about coming to New York City and this is the middle of nowhere."

GSP freshman Anthony Cox, who is originally from Galax, Va., two hours away from Blacksburg, said he was relieved to find out that his friends at Virginia Tech were unharmed.

"As far as I know, I haven't known anyone that's been injured," he said. "When I talked to them [my friends] earlier, we were worried because two of the girls I graduated with, they live in the dorm next to where it started. I know that their parents went and got them."

Although Virginia Tech plans to resume classes this Wednesday, students from the area are still recuperating.

Ben Zachary, a sophomore who attends Radford University and lives in Blacksburg with two roommates from Virginia Tech, said that when he found out about the shooting, he immediately went home, locked the doors and called his roommates.

"I was worried about one of them because they had an earlier class," he said.

One of the most difficult parts for Zachary was not knowing exactly what was happening.

"What's really hard for us right now is that they're not releasing names of who was affected," he said. "All our direct friends are OK, but we don't know about friends of friends."

Yesterday's shooting was the second to take place at Virginia Tech this school year. On the opening day of classes last August, an escaped jail inmate killed a sheriff deputy just off campus after he had allegedly killed a hospital guard off campus, the New York Daily News reported.

In addition to heightened security, Public Safety will also be putting out a community alert tomorrow about a Columbia student who was raped and tortured in her Hamilton Heights apartment, said crime prevention manager Jay Zwicker. The individual is said to still be at large.

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Original Source:<a href=http://www.nyunews.com/media/storage/paper869/news/2007/04/17/News/Campus.Responds.To.Va.Tech.Shootings-2845875.shtml> Washington Square News - April 17, 2007</a>

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Sara Dover

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Washington Square News

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2007-08-08

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Sara Hood

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"Alvin Chang, WSN" <editor@nyunews.com>

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eng

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Sara Dover, "Campus responds to Va. Tech shootings," in The April 16 Archive, Item #951, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/951 (accessed September 30, 2014).