Online Exclusive: Faculty and students attempt normality
By Stephanie Schwartz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday October 30, 2002
UA returns to normal, campus still somber, some say
Students hurried across the UA Mall yesterday and teachers delivered lectures to auditoriums filled with students, most not able to forget Monday's tragedies, but all doing what they knew how to do: trying to live life as normal.
Some administrators, faculty and students described the mood on UA's campus yesterday as somber, quiet and surreal in the wake of Monday's murders. Others said they didn't notice any differences.
Only the College of Nursing remained closed yesterday, as the rest of the Arizona Health Sciences Center reopened for what was as close to business as usual as possible.
The University Medical Center was as busy as usual and doctors at UMC kept all appointments, said Katie Riley, UMC spokeswoman.
Counseling and Psychological Services, which consoled several hundred students and faculty at the Alumni Association's "Swede" Johnson building Monday after the shootings, saw only about 40 to 50 students and faculty yesterday who came to the building for counseling, said Ken Marsh, director of counseling and psychological services.
"Today things are much quieter, but these things go on for a long time," Marsh said. "After this week we won't expect to see large group gatherings, but people on an individual basis."
All students were able to return and pick up their cars that were parked on the south side of UMC, which police blocked off Monday morning.
The state flags at the capital in Phoenix are flying at half staff and all Arizona universities and schools can lower their state flags if they choose to, the governor's press office said.
The flag on campus was not lowered as of late yesterday afternoon.
Professors continued with regular class schedules, some choosing to discuss Monday's events and some not discussing them.
"A number of instructors have taken time out of class to talk about what happened, but we're carrying on as usual," said Bruce Bayly, associate head and professor of mathematics.
Marion Slack, a professor in the Department of Pharmacy, planned to discuss Monday's events with her class yesterday. She expected to spend part of yesterday consoling students who either knew the victims or were having trouble dealing with what happened, she said.
Associate professor of sociology Ted Gerber said he expected most classes to return to normal yesterday, with attendance back to normal.
At the cancer center and around UMC, faculty and students that had class or office hours attended by and large, but the changes were evident, said Tim Brennen, assistant professor at the department of pharmacy practice and science.
"There's more grieving than fear," Brennen said. "People are feeling really bad about what happened."
At the College of Medicine there is a sense of profound sadness throughout the building and with faculty and students, said Nancy Koff, assistant dean of curriculum affairs for the College of Medicine.
"We've lost colleagues and friends and students have lost mentors," Koff said. "There's a sadness here that we will feel for awhile."
Some students noticed an immediate change when stepping onto campus yesterday and others said it seemed like nothing was different.
"On campus as of yesterday, no one knew," photography junior Sarah Collins said. "People are reacting more to it today."
Most students said the events brought a sense of realism to the UA, realizing that this could have happened to any of their professors.
Counseling is available for faculty and staff at the Alumni Association's "Swede" Johnson building.
Reactions across campus have varied as students, staff and faculty learned that a student shot and killed three UA nursing professors Monday, before killing himself. Some have the feeling Monday's events were surreal, distant. Others were profoundly impacted. Some professors cancelled class, but classes were not officially cancelled campus-wide. The Wildcat asked students across campus what their reactions were and whether they discussed the shooting in class.
"People on campus are a little down. People are scared and a little confused."
"I expect professors to talk about it. People all have it in the back of their minds."
-Michelle Adler, marketing senior
"It's just so sad, I can't believe it happened."
"It happened yesterday and everyone knows about it. I'm not surprised my teachers didn't talk about it. It's so terrible, they just didn't want to talk about it."
-Tae Kim, finance senior
"I'm a little surprised, I thought there would be a lot of talking about it."
"Maybe (professors) thought that they didn't need to talk about it or maybe they didn't think about it at all."
-Seante Lewis, economics senior
"On campus, as of yesterday, no one knew. People are reacting more today."
"You think about how it could have been an art teacher. It seems a lot more real."
-Sarah Collins, photography junior
"Campus is quiet, not too social."
"I don't expect my teachers to talk about it, mostly because I know my teachers. I don't see them talking."
-Pete Backlund, engineering sophomore
"In class, everyone was quiet. The teacher talked about it and asked if anyone had those teachers."
"I wasn't surprised my teachers talked about it. It was worth it to talk about it in class."
-Rocky Huang, regional development senior
"Campus is more quiet than usual."
"My teachers didn't talk about it, but students did. I think teachers all talked about it yesterday."
-Stephanie Macdonald, engineering junior
"It doesn't seem too different yet today. I expect people will come to class."
"I watched the news and saw that the police chief said that it was a planned thing. So I don't think people will be scared (to go to class) because there's no reason to be scared."
-Joseph Lee, engineering freshman
"I don't think it is different today than from two days ago. Yesterday was the biggest change. My teachers cancelled office hours yesterday but we had class."
"I'm a little surprised no one acted like anything had changed."
-Noah Horton, creative writing freshman