Students wear support on their sleeves

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Students wear support on their sleeves

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By: Amanda Younger, Staff Writer
Posted: 4/23/07

Ardent UNC men's basketball fans stood aghast at a January defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech, cringing at the sight of any reminder of their Virginian foes.

But for one day, students traded their Tar Heel blue for Hokie maroon and orange.

"Today we're all Hokies," senior Liz Oden said while donning Va. Tech colors Friday as part of National Orange and Maroon Effect Day.

Organized by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the day was designed to honor the 32 victims of the April 16 campus shooting and to provide a sense of community for those attempting to return to normalcy after the tragedy.

"It's one of the littlest things you can do," said Whitney Pilson, a sophomore communications major.

"I was really proud of our community for binding together."

Support will continue at noon today as students across the nation plan to commemorate the one-week anniversary of the tragedy with a moment of silence. Student Body President Eve Carson is encouraging UNC students to gather in the Pit for a moment of reflection.

Chicago maroon and burnt orange - Va. Tech's school colors for more than a century - have become synonymous with the university.

Orange and Maroon Effect Day began as a tradition to support the school's athletic teams, but Friday it became a way to unite alumni and students across the nation.

"I have a lot of friends that go to Virginia Tech, and I felt that it was the least I could do," said Emily Bisker, a sophomore biology major.

Carson said the tragedy has impacted the UNC community significantly on both a personal and institutional level.

She said that the similarities between Va. Tech and UNC, including both schools' rabid sports fans and size, make the tragedy hit much closer to home.

"The tragedy at Virginia Tech was so affecting for students across the nation because it could have happened anywhere," Carson said.

Freshman George Drometer, whose friend was asleep in West Ambler Johnston Residence Hall when the first shooting took place, said it's important for UNC to be active in helping Va. Tech students.

"I really feel we need to step it up and show our support," he said.

Having attended Wednesday's candlelight vigil in memory of those affected by the tragedy, Drometer said he felt a sense of community emerging on a campus fewer than 300 miles away from Va. Tech.

But this proximity also has led many students to feel a tangible connection to the plight of Va. Tech.

"It opens people to the perspective that we're very fortunate it didn't happen here," said Princeston Crisp, a freshman business major.

As those affected by the events at Va. Tech seek solace, Jessi Kemp, a junior sociology major, said she is confident that every effort to raise awareness and show support to Va. Tech is important.

"It's a subtle, 'We're thinking about you.'"

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Original Source: <a href= http://media.www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2007/04/23/Features/Students.Wear.Support.On.Their.Sleeves-2873727.shtml>The Daily Tar Heel - April 23, 2007</a>

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Amanda Younger

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The Daily Tar Heel

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2007-07-16

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Sara Hood

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Kevin Schwartz <kschwartz@unc.edu>

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eng

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Amanda Younger, "Students wear support on their sleeves," in The April 16 Archive, Item #748, http://april16archive.org/items/show/748 (accessed August 29, 2014).