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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Student remembers time at Virginia Tech

With the Virginia Tech shootings unfolding throughout the day Monday, Lauren Pope could envision herself on the grounds of the 2,600-acre campus.As names and faces are being put together to the 32 slain victims and gunman of the Virginia Tech attack, TCU students, such as Pope, and faculty with ties to Virginia Tech and the state of Virginia continue to reflect and mourn days after the most catastrophic school shooting in U.S. history.

Pope, a junior kinesiology major, attended Virginia Tech during the fall 2004 semester – her first of her college career. She then transferred to TCU in spring 2005.

Pope said she has been in contact with her friends at Virginia Tech, and was relieved to find out no one she directly knew was involved in the shootings.

The sight of the wounded and the sound of gunshots were too real to some, especially those with a familiarity of the campus’s nuances such as Pope.

“They talk about Norris Hall and all the different places on campus, and I was just picturing myself there,” said Pope, a midfielder for the soccer team.

As ex-roommates of student-turned-gunman Cho Seung-Hui share their experiences of what it was like living with him, Pope said it was surreal thinking that she could have lived in the same hall as Cho because she lived in Cochrane Hall during her freshman year.

She said the Blacksburg, Va., community promotes a positive, family atmosphere, which made the shootings surprising.

“It’s so small and so personable,” Pope said of Blacksburg. “You would never expect anything like this to happen.”

The experience was horrifying for Virginia residents such as Julie Bassett, who said more than half of her graduating class attends Virginia Tech. Bassett, a junior music education major from Woodbridge, Va., was unable to come in contact with her Virginia Tech friends to ensure they were safe until late Monday night. She said her friends were flooded with voicemails, e-mails and Facebook and MySpace messages from anybody and everybody.

“They had been contacted all day by everyone they had ever known to see if they were OK,” Bassett said.

When she was first made aware that the shootings were taking place at Norris Hall — the engineering building – Bassett feared for a close, high school friend of hers, who is an engineering major and regularly takes classes in Norris. Her fears were confirmed when she found out later that he was inside the building and in close proximity of the shootings as they were taking place.

Before finding out that he was safe, Bassett said, it was difficult to think that people she cared about could have possibly died.

“It was really hard trying not to think of people you know of being involved,” Bassett said. “You are kind of in denial about it.”

Students aren’t the only ones mourning for Blacksburg. Sue Anderson, an associate professor for the School of Education, lived in Virginia for 10 years while attending the University of Virginia, and taught in the area during that time. Even though Virginia Tech and UVA are traditional rivals, she pointed to an April 18 article in the Charlottesville, Va., Daily Progress newspaper of how UVA is showing its support for Virginia Tech as an example of how the state is coming together amidst tragedy.

Anderson said she hopes universities will use the Virginia Tech shootings as motivation to prevent such an act from repeating itself.

“In my experience, Virginians are proud people, and I think they have responded to the crisis with typical dignity and grace,” Anderson said. “Virginians will grieve together, and then, as universities all over the nation are doing, look for ways to respond better to crises on campus and to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.

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