Friday, April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech tragedy strikes a chord

Most people probably don't know that I was a campus safety supervisor and manager while going to Pacific Lutheran University in the 1990's. Having been in US Army Intelligence prior to college, it was a perfect fit for me while I earned my business degree.

It was also eye opening in terms of understanding the fragile nature of safety and security on a college campus. Students at PLU called it the "Lutedome," which was this invisible cloak of safety that we all felt when we were on campus. Certainly having up to 6 safety officers patrolling the campus perimeter and buildings helped to preserve that cloak.

Two years following my graduation from PLU, a person walked onto campus and shot a music professor inside the Lutedome, less than 100 feet from where I had lived my freshman year. It was particularly hard to take given that I knew the professor, safety officers, and students involved. It was even harder knowing that the cloak of safety had been shattered so violently for the students.

I wish the families of the victims, and the broader Virginia Tech family the best as they struggle through the coming months trying to come to grips with what has happened. It has definitely consumed my thoughts this entire week, as it has the PLU Community.