It has happened again...a murder on the Virginia Tech campus. Students were warned that someone was stabbed in the new graduate housing area. They have not disclosed who was the victim or the assailant. They have arrested someone for the murder and told the students that they could resumed moving around campus. I can hardly imagine the trauma and backlash of another tragedy in such a short time.
I am always a little scared that violence will happen on my campus. It makes sense, really, when you have so many people living and working together in a small space. The odds are that untreated mental illness, poor anger management, relationship issues, and/or substance abuse will lead someone to engage in illegal and violent behavior.
I have had times when I have been concerned about a student's behavior. When those issues arise, I have reached out to university law enforcement and student services staff members--just to stay safe and get help for students in need.
Universities can only do what they can do. We can prepare, train faculty and housing staff to recognize students in trouble, and put emergency systems in place, but we cannot preclude violence from happening. Sometimes, all we can do is pray.
I will keep the Va Tech community in my prayers tonight.