We’ve seen far too many photographs like this over the past year. This image comes from the student vigil held Thursday night (Feb. 14, 2008) on the campus of Northern Illinois University, where a former NIU grad student opened fire in a lecture hall, killing six students (the latest count) and wounding 15 others before taking his own life. (Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast for the Associated Press and found here.)
Several higher ed bloggers have posted their thoughts on the tragedy. You can find many of them on the BlogHighEd aggregator and see additional posts as they are certain to occur throughout the day. There isn’t much I can add, other than to agree that this was a senseless tragedy. About the best I can do — the best any of us can do — is to offer our prayers and support to the families of the victims.
Here are a few higher ed blog posts worth noting:
- Like me, Brad J. Ward (one of the guys behind BlogHighEd) did a quick post Thursday night as soon as he found out about the tragedy. “Sitting here in class and saw “17 shot on Campus” on laptop screen in row in front of me. Pulled up Twitter and sure enough Andrew Careaga was already on the story with a CNN link.This one hits a little too close to home.”
- Karine Joly does a nice job reviewing NIU’s crisis response as it played out on the campus’s website yesterday and today. “There are some blog posts I would rather not write,” Karine explains. “This is one of them, but as I did at the time of the Virginia Tech Tragedy, I think it’s important for the higher ed web and communication community to keep a record of the way NIU is handling this tragic event.” I agree, on both counts. It appears that the university’s response was solid, but that’s little consolation to the families of the victims. Thank you, Karine, for having the composure to give us a quick but solid analysis of NIU’s online communications.
- In A Somber Friday, Deanna Woolf posts some poignant thoughts in response to the tragedy that everyone should read. Go ahead. It’ll take less than two minutes. And while you’re there, why not leave a note to let Deanna and her readers know that you’re keeping the NIU community in your thoughts and prayers?
Some media links worth noting:
- The tragedy in pictures, via BBC News.
The shooter was apparently an award-winning grad student while at NIU who served as an officer for a criminal justice student group, a fact that just makes the story more enigmatic.
- ‘It’s unlikely that anyone’ could have stopped shooter, a Chicago Sun-Times article focusing on the campus security angle.
- Brace yourselves for more media attention on our campus security systems. Stories in today’s Kansas City Star, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader and many other media outlets are all taking the same angle. Look for more to follow suit.