Last weekend, a student committed suicide on our campus. No one knows what to say, how to react or what will happen. To potential students and incoming freshmen and even current students, we aspire and claim to have a community atmosphere. This student never felt that.
I realize I did not know this girl, which means I have little understanding of what was going on within her mind, family and everyday life. I will not pretend to wrap my mind around what she felt to lead to this action, this tragedy.
I do have confidence to say that we let this girl down. Our campus failed this girl. Was she responsible for her actions? Did she know what she was doing? I don’t know, and there’s no point in speaking of it. I do know that we claim to be a Christian community, but we act like a simple suburban community. Administration will not discuss what led to this event–understandably to consider her family. Yet, they must give us a plan for change. They must discuss what happens next.
They cannot let this slip away like a blemish on an otherwise “wholesome existence”–another instance to sweep under the rug. If administration has this in mind, we as students must hold them accountable. If we are a Christian community as we speak of, we have a responsibility to place a mirror in front of each other’s faces.
We claim to be a Christian community, but a girl still took her life. No one was there to protect her, to listen and to love her. She did not feel the pull of the Christian community? Apparent for years, our counseling center is poor to say the least. They have failed to improve it over the years. Unfortunately, like many other situations, it takes a tragedy before changes are made. Now, the horror occurred. The tragedy has spoken. How will administration react? What changes will be made? They have not said, but they will have to. We must hold them to that end, or her end was truly for nothing. Let us do it for her.
Please, God, make us change to avoid this ever happening again. Help us to remember the effect we have on people. Let us understand the importance of an understanding, caring shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. Also, let us feel guilty for letting this girl down. She was a sister in Christ, and we were not there for her. We did not help her when she needed it. We failed her–plain and simple. Finally, help us expect change. Stagnant behavior has led to complacency, but tragedy has forced us to open our eyes. Let it open hearts and minds to the reality of mental help and the need for change on our campus. Thank you for the forgiveness we always have with you. Please, lead us in the change that should occur.