I can’t lie, this might have been one of the most intense moments I’ve ever been in. The amphitheater was FILLED with sorrow tonight as we heard words from President John Casteen and 4th-year president Sarah Elaine Hart. Most of President Casteen’s speech harped on the necessity for us as a community to speak out against these types of acts and utilize the resources that have been given to you in order to stay safe. President Hart’s words were very similar, speaking from experience of the grief she felt as a 4th-year about to graduate, hearing one of her fellow classmates fallen to this tragic event. But honestly neither of these was as intense for me personally as the end. When the Virginia Gentlemen finished the last song and Colin Hood, President Casteen and Hart left the stage, I looked around. I saw the sorrow in people’s eyes, tears streaming down faces, stunned expressions. This death truly stunned our community. I began to walk towards this library (which I’m sitting in now) and just more disbelief filled the air, more questions, less answers. Even as someone who would have never known her had it not been for this incident, I truly can empathize with these students.
But let us heed the warnings of President Casteen! Seriously, if you know anyone who’s being abused, if you yourself are being abused, take this incident as your warning! Speak up! Tell someone (ANYONE) and let them help you reach a solution, if you just can’t find anyone, reach out to CAPS, reach out to the UVA community, hell, reach out to me! Don’t let this death go without reminding us of how blessed we can be!