niu_black_ribbon.gifU.S. News’ Paper Trail has compiled a list of ways students everywhere can show their support for victims of the recent shooting at Northern Illinois University. Five students were killed when a 27-year-old gunman and former student opened fire in a lecture hall on Valentine’s Day–quickly drawing comparisons to last year’s Virginia Tech tragedy. The Clog’s heart goes out to those affected by the shooting.

The Paper Trail ends their post with an inevitable question:

Meanwhile, schools are once again looking inward, evaluating their own mental health and security systems and reminding students that help is available. And they are asking a question that everyone has asked too many times: Could it happen here?

Image Source: Northern Illinois University
Five Dead in Shooting At Illinois University [Daily Cal]
For Northern Illinois, a Show of Support [Paper Trail]

Well it looks like Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso won’t be in Berkeley on Sept. 1.

No, there will be no Corso donning an Oski head or Herbstreit spilling his arrogance into T.V. screens from the Cal campus., the PR machine for Virginia Tech, just announced that ESPN picked the Virginia Tech/East Carolina matchup to be the host site for College GameDay on college football’s opening weekend.

Now, as much as we would like to bitch and moan about how horrible and how slighted we feel that ESPN chose to take GameDay away from arguably the best matchup on Sept. 1, if we had to choose any other site for GameDay, it would have to be Blacksburg, Va.

After all, everything we know about the Hokies and Virginia Tech is due to what Frank Beamer has done with that football program. If it weren’t for that football team, we wouldn’t even know that a Virginia Tech existed (prior to the Virginia Tech shooting).

And after what happened last April, we say that the Hokies deserve to have GameDay. If it will help them heal, help them get over that horrible day, then let them have it.

Apparently, that’s what ESPN was going for when it picked Virginia Tech.

bq. “Virginia Tech is a special place and the community is one of the most respectful and passionate we have visited,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of production. “Our coverage will be considerate of the emotional day facing the students, faculty, and people of Blacksburg and the country.”

So GameDay’s not coming to Cal, but we couldn’t have picked a better place for it to go than Blacksburg.

But we say this: GameDay better be on the steps of Sproul Hall on Nov. 10 for the Bears/USC matchup.

Earlier: Cal Not Picked by GameDay Crew—At Least Not Yet
College GameDay to open season in Blacksburg [Hokie Sports]

One Boalt student didn’t distinguish himself at Berkeley. Instead, he jolted UC Hastings School of Law and an online law school community.

On Wednesday, a user named “Trustafarian” posted a dark crack and innapropriate comment on, a law school discussion board. He started a thread called “Just decided not to do a murder-suicide copycat at Hastings Law” in reference to Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech. Before he edited it, his initial comment read:

I went to bed all set for “Bloody Wednesday,” but when I woke — to sun, to flowers in bloom — I just couldn’t bring myself to suit up.

Maybe tomorrow; I hear rain’s in the forecast.

Hastings, located in nearby San Francisco, took the threat seriously. The school shut down and students evacuated their classrooms on Wednesday.

Investigators found the comment to be a hoax, but Boalt isn’t laughing. Dean Christopher Edley said in an email:

Quickly on the heels of (the criminal investigation) and regardless of its outcome, we at Boalt will consider what disciplinary proceedings might be appropriate. Of course, we are also consulting with mental health professionals.”

The founder of the discussion board put the FBI in contact with the alleged poster, but no name has been released. The FBI and the San Francisco Police Department are currently looking into criminal charges.

The commenter seriously fucked up, and now he or she could get real law experience, acting as the accused and as the defense. Trustafarian, now you can finally use your Boalt education…by defending yourself at Boalt.

If it were up to us, though, you’re already guilty of being a douche.

Boalt student posted fake threat to Hastings [SF Chronicle]
Earlier: Virginia Tech Struck by Tragedy

We said it ourselves: Words can’t do justice to the hurt of such a horrific tragedy. A vigil was held last night in memory of the victims in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage.

Virginia Tech freshman Brandon Carroll said:

“I put on my Facebook a little thing saying I was okay because everyone was calling and no one could get through,” he said. “Everyone was IM-ing me. It was a crazy, hectic time in my dorm room.”

UC Berkeley students soon began blogging and creating Facebook groups, extending their support for those affected by the shootings.

“All the support from other schools—you can’t describe that kind of feeling you get when other schools are telling you, ‘We’re all Hokies today,’” Carroll said. “It heals the wounds.”

It’s difficult not to wonder what changes may be ahead. UC Davis is already discussing the possibility of improving emergency notification systems. So what’s in store for Cal?

The university and UCPD have some interesting systems and developments, including more high-tech procedures than one might expect:

* The siren and voice message campus warning systems are the quickest way to inform the campus community of an emergency.
* The latest technology developed is the People Locator System, an online bulletin board that allows people to report their whereabouts if they cannot access a phone.
* The campus is evaluating the use of a text messaging system that would send messages to students and staff in an emergency.

UC Berkeley To Revisit Emergency Procedures [Daily Cal]
Despite the Distance, Campus Shares in Loss [Daily Cal]

No words can do justice for those who lost their lives today on the campus of Virginia Tech. A shooting paralyzed the university this morning starting at 7:15 a.m.

At the end of the day, the gunman and 32 people were killed with 15 others injured, before committing suicide himself to end what became the deadliest shooting in United States history.

The Clog and the Daily Cal are saddened upon hearing this news and joins students, families, friends, and others across the country in mourning.

Currently, there are hundreds of Facebook groups that have popped up devoted to honoring the memory of those who lost their lives today, with well over 100,000 members combined. One of those groups has more than 88,000 members and 7,000 wall posts with students expressing their support to the families and friends of the victims.

Some Berkeley students held a vigil this evening at the base of the Campanile, though we don’t know for sure how many people attended it. There will be another tonight at 9 p.m. on Upper Sproul Plaza.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau also expressed his sadness to the campus community earlier today, via e-mail:

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the terrible tragedy in Virginia, whose scope and senselessness lie beyond the power of mere words to describe.

This afternoon, on behalf of our university, I sent a letter of condolence and support to the president of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Charles Steger, and his entire campus community.

He also announced that the Tang Center will be providing counseling services for those students and staff members.

UC President Robert Dynes, in a statement released today, said:

All of our campuses will be reviewing again their safety programs and procedures in light of today’s events, and as we learn more about the specific circumstances of the Virginia Tech shootings, we will apply those lessons as well.

While reviewing these procedures is a must after today, there is only so much a university can do.

Today’s events reminds us of a clip of a speech that Robert Kennedy gave that we listened to in class. He said two months before his assassination:

“Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.”

If you’d like to share your thoughts, you may leave a comment below, e-mail the news editors at [email protected] or write a letter to the Daily Cal editor at [email protected].

Some Stories From Today
* Gunman Kills 32 in Virginia Tech Rampage [SF Gate]
* Across nation, campus police review security measures [LA Times]
* Questions raised about Virginia Tech security [MSNBC]
* Message from Chancellor Birgeneau on Virginia Tech shootings [Newscenter]
* Dynes Statement [UCOP]