Campus community comes together in mourning
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 00:10
Wednesday evening, students gathered on Harrison Boulevard for a candle burning. Though I did not know the late member of Pi Kappa Phi personally, I was so incredibly moved by the community turn out, tears formed. To say I was the only one would be a remarkable understatement.
The sidewalk was lined on either side with an uncountable multitude of peers. Looking down either end, I tried in vain to find the last people in line. When members of Pi Kappa Phi — leading the way up Harrison Boulevard — passed, all that was to be heard were solemn footsteps.
I can only assume the entire Greek community — proudly displaying their letters in support — made the turn out. However, I was not the only one outside of this community to show my silent remorse. If someone had asked me to speak, I’m not sure the lump in my throat or chills on my arms could have permitted words.
It stunned me how all these people could gather in a silent, organized fashion and lend a comforting hand or hug to those they do and do not know. Several people walked, arms linked, up Harrison and through Greek Row. When the leading members of Pi Kappa Phi came back into view walking down Harrison on the adjacent sidewalk, the original lines of people hadn’t started moving up town yet. It was truly remarkable to witness this many people silently waiting for their turn to show their respects.
The unspoken cooperation between vehicular traffic and pedestrians participating in the candle burning truly showed how capable we all are at a peaceful co-existence. Cars slowed to a stop to let people cross, and when the line of traffic backed up from 23rd Street to Kings Boulevard, people stopped to give the cars a chance to carry about their way.
Still, the only sounds to be heard were sniffles, footsteps and idling engines. No one became impatient enough to honk or blindly step into the street and cut off the traffic. I was moved, watching this unspoken understanding.
Apart from myself, others stopped on their way to admire this coming together. People stepped out from their doorways or stopped on their bikes. Though we did not have a candle, we certainly gave our respects.
This entire campus is in mourning. The candle burning was only a public way for us to show it. The impact of even one death in the student body affects us all.
This kind of support enhances my belief that this university and community is where I belong. It really doesn’t take much to find someone you can relate to, or someone’s shoulder to cry on. If someone needed me, or needed to get something off their chest, I am here and more than happy to listen — even if I don’t know them.
Megan Campbell is a fourth-year junior in new media communications. The opinions expressed in her columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.