Back to normal


Back to normal


Posted: 8/6/07
I recently received an e-mail from a graduate student at Virginia Tech. She asked me if I would be willing to release any articles that The California Aggie had written on the school's tragedy in April to be part of a larger database that is working to preserve and present stories from around the country.

When I read the e-mail, it quickly reminded me of that terrible day on Apr. 16, when a lone student went on a shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus leaving 33 people dead, 25 injured and scores more scarred for life. College campuses across the country, including UC Davis, began reviewing and reevaluating their emergency response services in the case a similar attack should happen. Schools were no longer safe and seemingly anyone was capable of committing such a horrific act.

Eventually, though, these thoughts became memories. Students here at UC Davis were able to continue to attend class, eat at the Coho and play intramural sports without worry. Of course, that's how it should be, and not just here, but everywhere. We should never have to live in a world of constant fear and trepidation, and should instead strive to live our lives as normally as possible. However, it is clear that normalcy is a status that many students in Blacksburg, Va. understandably continue to seek.

Virginia Tech is not so different from UC Davis. It is a public institution with an undergraduate population of nearly 22,000. Blacksburg, like Davis, is also dominated largely by the local university. The population of the town is nearly 40,000 citizens, 60 percent of which is college students. Compare that to Davis, with a population around 60,000, about 50 percent of which is comprised of students. If you think that it can't happen here in quiet Davis, you are sorely mistaken.

That being said, however, this is not a column trying to scare the population here on campus or the city at large that an attack is imminent. Instead, it is to serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are that we have been able to avoid a tragedy of such magnitude, and how easily we can undervalue every day that we walk on campus.

In addition, we should not forget our brethren in Virginia. While many of us may not know any students over in Blacksburg personally, we can nonetheless imagine the pain and shock they continue to go through and the ongoing healing process.

Last week the first football practice of the season for the Virginia Tech football team took place. The Hokies are the pride of Blacksburg and will once again be a top-25 team. But much more importantly, on that first game of the season when the team runs out of the tunnel and onto the field, the cheering students and fans can remember what it is to be normal again - for at least four quarters of football.

Here at UC Davis, we as students should never take normal for granted.


Original Source:<a href=>The California Aggie - April 6, 2007</a>




The California Aggie




Sara Hood


Eddie Lee <>




EDDIE LEE, “Back to normal,” The April 16 Archive, accessed April 21, 2024,