Support beyond words


Support beyond words


<b>UNC community feels connected to Va. Tech</b>

Hokie maroon and orange dotted the solemn crowd Tuesday night as hundreds from the Carolina community turned out in support of their peers at Virginia Tech.

At a candlelight vigil organized by three UNC students from Northern Virginia, students, faculty and residents gathered in the Pit, on its steps and stood 10 deep in places outside it, many sporting ribbons with Va. Tech colors.

Speakers and audience members expressed the need for community, both within UNC and also with all college students nationwide.

"This is the time when, for all our words, we are speechless, when our fears trump our hopes," said Jan Rivero, campus minister of the Wesley Campus Ministry.

"It is times like this when we need each other the most."

Counselors from Counseling and Wellness were circulating the crowd in case of a need.

Students were invited to write messages on posters that will be sent to Va. Tech. The posters will be in the Pit until the end of this week.

Messages ranged from expressions of love for specific individuals to solidarity with the "Hokie nation" to "It could have been us" - an idea that seemed to be on the minds of many.

"Virginia Tech is a lot like Carolina," said Margaret Jablonski, vice chancellor for student affairs, citing traits ranging from campus geography to each school&#39;s rabid sports fans.

These similarities caused many students to wonder if a situation similar to the tragic shooting by a Va. Tech senior characterized as a loner that left 33 dead - including the shooter, Cho Seung-Hui - could happen here.

"No campus is immune from what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech," Chancellor James Moeser said in a Tuesday press release addressed to the Carolina community. "Just as we always do in the wake of a security issue on this campus, we also will learn from the Va. Tech tragedy."

Stephanie Berman, Skylar Gudas and Alison Linas, the Northern Virginia natives who organized the event, led the gathering in lighting candles as an expression of community.

"As we pass the flame let us be silent and reflect on these events and remember our peers in Blacksburg," Linas said.

Student Body President Eve Carson urged students to carry the feelings of community and solidarity forward. "We need to keep this culture of peace at the forefront of our mind."

Chelsea Stahr, Va. Tech class of 2005, who sported maroon and orange from head to toe said she was encouraged by the UNC response.

"I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support that UNC and all other schools have shown, and it just made it a lot easier."

Stahr, who now lives and works in the area, commended Va. Tech for how it&#39;s coped with the situation.

"The amount of support that they have shown the students and the amount of unity the students have shown ... that&#39;s what&#39;s going to get us through this," she said.

Winston Crisp, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, said counselors and representatives from the dean of students office and various campus ministries were available to students Tuesday in the Union.

He said his office will evaluate the situation today to see if a similar need exists.

"We want to make it easy for students," he said, also citing the availability of counselors with walk-in hours in Counseling and Wellness, the office of the dean of students, community directors, resident advisers and faculty members.

Campus Y Director Virginia Carson said that difficult times show what&#39;s truly important.

"Our values are connecting with each other," she said, urging students to reach out to those most directly affected by the shootings.

"They need you a little more now than they did yesterday."


Original Source:<a href=>Daily Tar Heel - April 18, 2007</a>


Allison Nichols


Daily Tar Heel




Sara Hood


Kevin Schwartz <>




Allison Nichols, “Support beyond words,” The April 16 Archive, accessed March 1, 2024,