Here in Michiana, people are trying to come to grips with the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech. There’s no simple way for anyone to deal with the news. Just one day since the shootings occurred, many college students in the South Bend area will forever remember where they were or what they were doing when they heard the news.
Students at Notre Dame tell us it's especially sad because Virginia Tech students died in dorms and classrooms, the very place students are supposed to feel the safest. While Blacksburg, Virginia is hundreds of miles from South Bend, the tragedy at Virginia Tech hits close to home for many college students in the local community.
“I think like just anybody, I was shocked. Nobody expects anything like that to happen,” says Notre Dame Junior, Sarah Corral.
In between class, students like Christine Anderson and Sarah Corral took a moment to stop by the grotto at Notre Dame. “I have a couple friends are from that area. They were nervous and upset, trying to figure things out. Somebody I know lost somebody in the shootings, trying to support them and be there for them as best I can,” says Corral.
“I have a friend who goes there, luckily alright, but I wanted to say a prayer for her,” says Anderson.
Thousands are also posting their prayers and thoughts online. On facebook.com, students and alumni from across the country have posted sympathy messages. “I think it can be very, very productive. But just like anything else with the Internet, it's not a simple answer. ‘Yes, it’s good or no, it’s bad,’” says Dr. Suzanne Courtney, a Clinical Child Psychologist in South Bend.
Courtney has first-hand experience in dealing with a shooting crisis at a school, assisting in trauma relief for families of the Columbine tragedy. Although no one can take back the events of the Virginia Tech massacre, Courtney says we can all reassess the way we treat each other on a daily basis. “You can either use connections to cause someone to feel alienated and hostile, or you can cause someone to feel closer and calmed,” says Courtney.