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Old 04-17-2007, 10:40 AM   #286
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


I'm not trying to start an argument, those are just some thoughts that have been going through my head. It's human nature to immediately need some sort of reason and someone to blame. I think this is one of those cases where someone really messed up just went off. No one could have seen it coming.
I agree 100%!

I think it rediculous to think that they would shut down the campus for what appeared to be an isolated domestic dispute.

If there were 30 shot in the dorm, and they did not shut down, I think it another matter completely....

That said....


They did not have the guy, and if I am paying a college to educate my child....maybe I hold them to a higher standard.....

Hmmmm
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:46 AM   #287
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox

I think it rediculous to think that they would shut down the campus for what appeared to be an isolated domestic dispute.


i think it would have been a logistical impossibility to close down campus, though i wonder if, at the very least, classes could have been cancelled?

where i went to school -- only 2,000 students -- it's a perfectly possible thing to close down campus. at VT, not so much.

but there's really no sense here. i did notice the TV people -- perhaps acting as parents themselves -- making a great big point about the 2 hours between the shooting and when the email was sent. and most of the students seemed to side with the university. just how one goes about warning 26,000 people, i have no idea.

in some ways, i kind of like our impulse towards accountability. it's empowering. but at the same time, we don't seem to grasp, as a society, that sometimes bad things do happen to good people through no one's fault.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:50 AM   #288
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
I've been thinking about what some people are saying re: not enforcing the lockdown immediately after the first shooting. I wondered about this at length myself. But I've been thinking more and more that hindsight is always 20/20. VT has a student population of 25,000. From what I've read, the student got angry and shot the RA. At that point, it's kind of like an isolated domestic incident. If we live in a town of 25,000 people and someone shoots his wife across town, do we lockdown the town in anticipation of a shooting spree? I don't know, it's very sad of course and no one is at fault but the shooter. I think it's unfair, at least at this point, to be placing blame on VT administration for not enforcing immediate lockdown. There's been some crazy shit that's happened on my campus, a fraction of the size of VT, things that never resulted in a lockdown because they didn't escalate, and most students weren't aware they happened until the administration announced it. Who could have anticipated he'd go off on a shooting spree hours later? Would I have? No.

I'm not trying to start an argument, those are just some thoughts that have been going through my head. It's human nature to immediately need some sort of reason and someone to blame. I think this is one of those cases where someone really messed up just went off. No one could have seen it coming.

A campus is like a small community, a neighbourhood if you will. If there was a shooting in my community/neighbourhood I wouldn't expect a lockdown of the entire area but I would expect to be notified of the incident as soon as possible—isolated or not.

In any event there was a shooting on campus which means someone brought a gun to school! Shouldn't students be aware of this no matter how big or small the incident was?
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:51 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
but there's really no sense here. i did notice the TV people -- perhaps acting as parents themselves -- making a great big point about the 2 hours between the shooting and when the email was sent. and most of the students seemed to side with the university. just how one goes about warning 26,000 people, i have no idea.
they could do the same things they did; sound the sirens, and send the e-mails, put it on the radio, and the web site. only do it 2 hours earlier.

they had no problem responding immediately when Morva was loose on campus in August. It was shut down as soon as there were reports that he was spotted. why was it so different this time?
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:52 AM   #290
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico


they could do the same things they did; sound the sirens, and send the e-mails, put it on the radio, and the web site. only do it 2 hours earlier.

they had no problem responding immediately when Morva was loose on campus in August. It was shut down as soon as there were reports that he was spotted. why was it so different this time?


all good questions.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:52 AM   #291
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Being a School Administrator, and a newly hired principal (start 7/1).....

I can say that in the last year, we dealt with the passing of a student. AS an administrative team, we were criticized by some for not doing enough and by others for placing too much emphasis on it.

The monday morning QB can make anyone look like they did the wrong thing, and what people may or may not understand is that decisions people make in a leadership position are slammed for every side and multiple angles.

I just cannot fault the VT unless there is evidence that would lead one to believe this would have continued the way it did.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:54 AM   #292
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoManiac
In any event there was a shooting on campus which means someone brought a gun to school! Shouldn't students be aware of this no matter how big or small the incident was?
And you know what, this may be the argument that puts me in a position of being upset with the administration. However, why not a lockdown of the dorm? With some publicity on the airwaves? If it appeared to be domestic....why not handle it this way?
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:55 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Being a School Administrator, and a newly hired principal (start 7/1).....

I can say that in the last year, we dealt with the passing of a student. AS an administrative team, we were criticized by some for not doing enough and by others for placing too much emphasis on it.

The monday morning QB can make anyone look like they did the wrong thing, and what people may or may not understand is that decisions people make in a leadership position are slammed for every side and multiple angles.

I just cannot fault the VT unless there is evidence that would lead one to believe this would have continued the way it did.
i'm a school administator here at vt. all i'm saying is i witnessed things being carried out very differently when we had a shooter on the loose in August. campus CAN be shut down here very easily, as it was as soon as he was spotted.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:57 AM   #294
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
I suppose it's inevitable, but I am dreading the xenophobic backlash that is sure to come.
I hope there is not that sort of backlash. MSNBC had a listing of previous incidents and the majority of them were committed by adult white males.

Laura, I'm glad to hear that your friend is doing better.
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:59 AM   #295
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Dread, you don't need "evidence" to show it would have continued in order to establish negligence on their part. I think more information is necessary but at the same time I don't think we can easily write it off saying that the administration will get blamed either way. A full investigation should take place and I totally understand why somebody like Mia would have questions about whether this could have been handled differently yesterday.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:02 AM   #296
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until all the evidence comes out it's impossible to know why they did what they did... let's not be so quick to rush to judgement.

of course it looks like the police and administration were inept in their handeling of the alerts... but maybe there was some piece of evidence that they haven't told us about... maybe the killer, who obviously had this planned out in detail... left something at the scene to throw off police... a fake suicide note, something of the sort.

this is a monster who may or may not have used fake bomb threats to test police/school response, who had chained off doors before going on his rampage... it's not out of the realm of possability that he also did something to make police belive that this was an isolated incident in order to buy himself more time to carry out the rest of the plan.



of course if nothing like that did occur... that they just didn't think it was worth notifying everyone immediately, that changes everything... but let's at the very least allow some time for all the evidence to come out... it's barely over 24 hours since it occured.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:06 AM   #297
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If one good thing comes of this (which it's very difficult to believe now), hopefully it's that colleges and universities nationwide develop realistic and well-coordinated plans of how they will handle a major crime or disaster on their campuses. It's really too early to say, but maybe much of this tragedy could've been prevented if there had been better communication and more of a plan already in place.

My university is about half the size of VT, and it's never responded well to problems. Last fall, much of the campus severely flooded very quickly, and there was chaos for hours before the school made some sort of formal announcement. What would happen if there was a dangerous situation on my campus? How would they let students know?

As others have said, it's easier to try to place blame when you're removed from the situation. I do hope that this opens a difficult but necessary dialogue between university administrators, students, and communities that will help students and faculty continue to feel like their campuses are places for learning and not places where they need to be afraid.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:06 AM   #298
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
they had no problem responding immediately when Morva was loose on campus in August. It was shut down as soon as there were reports that he was spotted. why was it so different this time?
Although...Morva was an escaped prisoner who had killed a hospital guard in order to escape, wasn't he? So it may have seemed more reasonable to reckon he was likely to pose an immediate public danger than in this case.

I do not mean to seem insensitive about it...if one of the injured or killed were a friend or relative, I don't know how I might feel. And I do tend to think colleges across the board will handle such situations differently from now on. Still I think I can understand why the police were initally inclined to conclude this was essentially a 'domestic incident' turned violent (with tragic consequences for a third party who attempted to intervene) and not at all likely to lead to the kind of situation which followed. It's not unheard of a for a random killing spree to be preceded by something like that but it is very, very rare. From what I've read, Cho was originally going door-to-door in the dormitory attempting to find his girlfriend, and did not harm or threaten anyone else he encountered before finding her. Perhaps I am mistaken there.
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it's just so awful. am sort of at a loss for words. i start to get angry, but then i just get sad.
This was what I meant by saying my stomach turned over every time What-ifs about this came to mind as I taught yesterday...first you feel this urge to just tear the throat out of whatever vile f* thought his own momentary sufferings "justified" this, then you get hit with the realization of the preciousness of all that has been lost and realize that that is the real crisis which needs to be faced right now.

An awful, awful thing.
Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
I suppose it's inevitable, but I am dreading the xenophobic backlash that is sure to come. According to CNN he was a resident alien (green card holder) and not technically an "international student" (which is the population that I work with) but I imagine that difference will be lost on many.
I remember about a decade or so ago there was a rash, probably random, across the country of international grad students committing suicide, which occasioned some distress among folks like you who work with international students about what if anything needed to be done. Now that's a very different kind of situation because it's not going to provoke "xenophobic" anger, but I'd like to think that *if* anything must come out of this for people who work with international students, it would be to take a closer look at the unique kinds of stresses they are under and whether more needs to be done to monitor and address those. Most of my foreign students are fantastically well-adjusted young people who after a few weeks of culture shock, settle in just great, make friends of all kinds, maybe establish connections with other students from their home country or region, develop solid relationships with their advisors and do very well academically...but every now and then there are those who don't, probably kids who were already shy or socially unaccomplished to begin with, so they become alienated and withdrawn and/or perhaps unhealthily dependent on one or two social contacts here (which it sounds like may have been the case with this young man). Of course they are far, far, far more likely to pose a danger to themselves (or to become easy prey for bad people) than they are to harm anyone else; of course this act could just as easily have been committed by an American student--people violently avenge themselves over relationships gone sour all the time, and while that hardly ever leads to subsequent mass killings, it would not be entirely unprecedented either. But if anything like that must come of this, I would hope it would be of that sort.

It's not clear to me whether he was in fact an "international student" in the usual sense anyhow; apparently he held resident alien status, and I'm not sure whether his family perhaps lived here also or not.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:09 AM   #299
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i think it is easy for lots of us to speculate, or not want to speculate. but here as a student and student affairs personnel, i don't see anything wrong with me demanding to know why things were handled differently.

like i said, in august, we had a shooter on campus. as soon as he was spotted on campus, the entire campus was notified and it was shut down.

yesterday we had a shooter on campus. we are notified of the shooting incident 2 hours later, which is not congruent with how it was handled last time. isolated or not, 2 students were killed, and the campus community should've been notified, just as we were notified that Morva had shot a guard. even if they thought they had it under control. they could've sent the same inconclusive e-mail at 7:30 that they sent at 9:30.

this campus has had no trouble notifying people in the past. evacuations is another story. but the notifications have until now always been on point. i can see how the shutting down of campus MAY be debatable. but sending notifications is not. we deserved to know that 2 of our students had been killed once the police knew.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:09 AM   #300
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I can foresee (if it hasn't already started to happen) that students will be required to take "emergency situation" classes to prepare them in the event that something like this occurs.

I find it sad that the number one concern for students and teachers is fast becoming their safety and not their education...
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