Senseless violence and tragedy has struck the academic community once again. On April 16, Virginia Tech and America lost 32 students and instructors in a violent spree set out by one student who is said to have been a disturbed individual. Our WCU community sends thoughts and prayers to our neighbor VA Tech, in hope that they will be able to recover and move forward. A moment of silence was held at WCU’s alumni tower on April 18 at 5:30 pm to show support for the unfortunate events that has shaken academia. The occasion was sober, but there was a since of community saying we will not stand for such senseless acts of violence. WCU does not want to be afraid for the safety of our small community here in the mountains. It was announced at the moment of silence that a new safety program is being introduced to WCU. The details will be known later, but it was emphasized that all students look out for one another, report suspicious activities, not prop dorm room doors, and never let someone into your dormitory who does not have a key. With such a random act of violence with no apparent motive at the time of deadline, it is hard to make sense of why something like this would happen. Why that building? Why that day? Why that time? The victims of course could have been anyone on the campus of VA Tech, but those who lost their lives were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is nearly impossible to prevent something like this from happening again, and perhaps that is what is so frightening about these kinds of acts of violence. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the gunman’s actions, yet now Virginia has to prepare for 32 funerals and the healing that follows. How do we know if we are safe? Is it not plausible that this same senseless act of violence could have occurred here in North Carolina, or even (heaven please forbid it) here on our own campus? There is no practical way of preventing something like this from happening again anywhere in America. If a madman wants his “moment of glory” he can easily take it. As the news has been stating all week it is not practical to put officers in every classroom. It is times like this where one can feel very vulnerable living in an academic environment, but it is important for WCU to move forward and not be afraid. Keep your senses heightened and be vigilant on campus. It is just as it is crucial for VA Tech to move forward too after the grieving. They have experienced an overwhelming loss. May god heal their minds and spirits and shall they forever cherish their Hokie pride. Forever our hearts go out to the families of those who were lost at VA Tech (some names were not released by print deadline): Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20; Christopher James Bishop, 35; Ryan Clark, 22; Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, age unknown; Daniel Perez Cueva, 21; Kevin Granata, age unknown; Caitlin Hammaren, 19; Jeremy Herbstritt, 27; Rachael Hill, 18; Emily Jane Hilscher, 19; Jarrett L. Lane, age unknown; Matthew J. La Porte, 20; Liviu Librescu, 76; G.V. Loganathan, 51; Daniel O’Neil, 22; Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26; Mary Karen Read, 19; Reema J. Samaha, 18.