Tuesday, April 17, 2007

As a person who will attempt to become a fixture on a university campus one day, the heinous massacre of students and faculty at Virginia Tech is distressing and repulsing to say the least. While some might argue that the campus police did not do enough in response to the first shooting, it is simply not possible to completely protect an area the size of small city with a large population. Life, unfortunately, is full of risks in all aspects.

Would this make me re-evaluate my career choice? No. I recognize that these cataclysmic events are fairly rare, thankfully. However, crime does indeed happen on university campuses. From my experience at university in Scotland, they are mostly property crimes and people attempting to gain access to a building to steal things. This has happened in two places that I frequent at the university. One of them being my office area, which my office mate told me about the other day. Honestly, I am more likely to get caught up in an academic dispute which no one in their right mind will care about than have something tragic happen to me.

One of the things that interests me about this case is that the shooter was in the English Literature department. Now, the way English Literature is taught at the academic level can drive anyone insane (especially me) but, usually, courses in the humanities are geared toward building a great sense of empathy for the subject of your work. This is why many people in literature and in anthropology tend toward liberalism. It is a potent mix of empathy for others plus theory. The shooter in this case must have been inhuman (well, obviously we know that now) for the lessons of the humanities to be disregarded but we do not know what other influences were affecting him. I am not sure how far along he was in his studies when he decided to murder people but you would think that some of the empathy would have been apparent in his classes.

Whatever the case is now, we must mourn the dead and let Virginia Tech go about the process of healing.

posted by Chris  #6:57 PM | 0 comments |