After two consecutive Wednesday threats in UBC, this past Wednesday was thankfully quiet. Many students were still feeling the slight unease though, and debate over whether BioSci is safe or not. “What if this time, s/he is giving no threats because it’s for real?” some thought.
But all around, things are looking really messed up. Instead of a threat to UBC, someone blew up a Taco shop and a Starbucks, scattering debris throughout a half-block in Vancouver early this morning. The police, this time, seemed to be better at catching the bad guy (perhaps because he was badly burnt).
And perhaps more shockingly, there was another US school shooting today near Chicago, killing two and injuring many others. A guy called John went into the front of a classroom (ocean science) and opened fire with his shotgun before taking his own life. CNN had a more action-packed description of the incident, but I think no media information is quite reliable this early.
An interviewed student said she didn’t know when she will return to school. I can totally emphasize that… just threats alone shocked students here at UBC deeply. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see bloodshed on a university campus, where the grownups have to remind us: “it may safe enough to wander around at night, kids, but at least grab a few friends along!”
What is up with people? Are we just overall angrier? Are we all losing our ability to be say hi to each other, to smile on the streets?
I would like to post an email I received a few days after the UBC threats last week, from a dear friend, and spread her message to as many people as possible:
Good morning- did you see the sky this morning? It is absolutely gorgeous…
I just wanted to take a minute to let you know that you are a very special person. You are very important to me, and to the UBC community that we are a part of.
Unusual and rather scary things have been happening on campus over the past few days. This is a very stressful time in many people’s lives- we are in the middle of the second term, there are alot of activities going on, exams are coming up, some of us are graduating or moving on in other ways…it can be alot of stress.
I want to encourage you now more than ever to reach out to others in your community. This is a perfect time to help someone or ask someone for help. Even just smiling and making eye contact with your neighbours, classmates, and co-workers can go a long way in building community in a large and sometimes frightening place!
I sent you this email because there is someone on campus that is hurting and afraid, and I only hope that you have not felt lonely or frightened or as though no one cared about you. I want you to know that I care about you, that you make up a very important part of my life, even if I don’t always have the opportunity to say so. So thank you.
I am here to support you in whatever way I can, please know that if you take a moment to reach out to me I will be here to help. And I know that you would do the same for me (or probably already have!), and I thank you for it.
With much love,