On April 16, 2007, a gunman murdered 32 students and professors at Virginia Tech.Other mass shootings (including on college campuses) have followed, but the words "Virginia Tech" evoke a particular sense of the shock of what happened there in 2007.
A: The safety and well-being of everyone in the campus community must be a priority.
Universities should examine their complex systems to ensure they are responsive to the needs of students, faculty and staff -- and families. It needs to be tended and the product of communication with all involved.
Others may have taken some time, or been active at certain times and less so at others.
Three of the graduates I followed worked in advocacy over much of the decade after the shootings.
This goes beyond gun violence, given the many troubling issues facing colleges and universities.
Q: Campus carry has spread in the years since Virginia Tech (and many other shootings).Via email, he responded to questions about the book.Q: What do you see as the key evolution you document of many of the survivors and family members of the slain at Virginia Tech in terms of how they responded?Activities have included displays from the huge collection of memorial tributes and items from around the world that are under the care of the university’s archivist.Among these tributes is an oversized, wood-bound book of condolences sent to Tech in 2007 from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.A timely notice when there is a threat -- which was delayed at Virginia Tech -- would now seem to be a given.Likewise, the establishment of threat-assessment teams gives colleges and universities an organized way to intervene before a problem becomes an emergency.A: It’s impossible to generalize about the experiences of survivors, especially in a community as large and diverse as Virginia Tech.Some of the survivors whose work I reported on in this book came to advocacy very soon after the shootings.The university initially canceled classes for its annual Day of Remembrance, but resumed a regular schedule in 2012.The annual remembrance continues, however, and includes a memorial 3.2-mile run and walk.