EDITORIAL: Following March 2 shooting we must come together to help move forward

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We are going to be OK. 

That is the major conclusion we want to leave you with after reading this editorial – the opinion of the staff of Central Michigan Life

On March 2, we experienced a tragedy together. For reasons we may never fully understand, police say James Eric Davis Jr., a 19-year-old Illinois sophomore, shot and killed his mother and father in his room in Campbell Hall.

We sincerely offer our condolences to the Davis siblings, Russell and Alexis Davis. Please keep them in your thoughts this week.

The incident has been referred to as a “school shooting” during the last week. Members of the national media sometimes linked the Central Michigan University shooting to what we have come to call an “active shooter” event, like the one that occurred Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, or the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.

Most of us were stunned or in disbelief after receiving the initial Central Alert emergency message that alerted us to the “shots fired” inside Campbell Hall. From inside classrooms, residence halls, apartments and houses or academic buildings, we texted family and friends to let them know we were safe during the campus lockdown. Police in tactical gear roamed the campus and downtown searching for Davis Jr. 

This was a situation we never thought we’d have to deal with in our quiet, little town of Mount Pleasant. 

This is important to understand – the deaths of James Eric Davis Sr. and Diva Davis were not random. This does not appear to be a planned crime. This was a terrible, isolated family tragedy. 

Mount Pleasant is a safe community. Don’t forget that. 

On March 2, a tragedy took place here. That doesn’t change who we are, where we live and it certainly doesn’t mean that we should live in fear.

We need to take care of each other this week. 

Utilize the resources we have on campus. Starting this week through March 23, the Counseling Center has extended its hours and is open until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Therapy dogs will be on campus every day from 4-7 p.m. in Foust Hall room 135. Group therapy will also be available; sessions on how to manage anxiety can be attended daily 3-4 p.m. in Foust 135.

No matter where you were — in class, at your residence hall or apartment, or watching news coverage on TV from the safety of your parents’ home — we all experienced a part of the fear and heartache that consumed our campus.  

We are all affected. Don’t be afraid to reach out to each other. Don’t be ashamed to share your thoughts with your family, faculty and classmates. If you have trouble sleeping, experience anxiety when you return to campus or are struggling in some other way – please, talk to someone. 

We’ll get through this together. 

We are going to be OK. 

We are #CMUStrong.


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