Published January 13, 2015
"I am a student at Virginia Tech and I just would like to say that myself and others here feel that the attacks against our university officials and local law enforcement on the actions taken today are unmerited. Most of us feel that the university took all of the necessary steps and we felt sufficiently informed and protected as the events unfolded. I personally feel that the university did everything with the students' best interest in mind and did so in a timely and discerning manner given the circumstances… Thank You for your concern for our campus in our time of need. We need prayers."
— Jay Paulette
"First off I would like to think everybody for his or her thoughts and prayers. With all of the questions that are left to be answered I hope to shed some light on the event that has taken place. My morning started off when my alarm clock went off at 9:15. I got out of bed, cut my shower on and checked my email like I do everyday. I took my shower and got ready to go to class. My roommate and myself caught the local bus to go to campus. We stop at another bus stop to pick up some more students and that's when we heard that a "incident" had occurred. I called a friend to see what was going on at 9:50 and found out
classes were "suspended." We got off the bus and walked back to our apartment.
The horror that awaited me when I got back was overwhelming. Had I made it to campus this morning I would have (been) walking outside of Norris Hall at the time of the shooting. I thank God that I wasn't. I've been watching the news since and I can't explain the feelings that I have felt as the death toll kept rising. At first the thought was here we go again, first we had the William Morva shooting and now this. Since that first thought I could not believe that this is happen at such a great university.
The question that is most prevalent on my mind is why it took 2 hours for the university to notify us. We have had 2 bomb threats in the past 2 weeks and we were notified as soon as it happened why did it take
so long if a shooting had occurred and other lives were at stake. I would like to ask for your continued prayers because we need them. Today everyone is a Hokie and people of Hokie Nation stand strong as Hokie's United."
— Brian Whitesell
"This is in response to the parents calling of the firing of the President and the Campus Police Chief. Those parents are way out of line to call for the immediate dismissal. They did everything they thought they could, they had no way of knowing that the person was going to attack again, all sense would have called for the shooter to have fled campus and tried to get as far away as possible, and immediately closing everything down would have caused a panic for the students. What happened today was tragic to say the least, but fault does not fall completely on the President and Campus Police Chief. And as far as the previous incident from August being brought up, that had very little to do with Virginia Tech. The criminal broke out of a hospital and came to the campus to try to blend in with the students, that blame also shouldn't fall on the university. The campus, local, and state police officers did all they could to protect students, unfortunately they had to deal with a psychotic individual, and there was nothing that could have been done to prevent what happened. The call for removal is an immature response to people demanding immediate action and punishment to try to justify what happened, when instead they should be focused on a healing process rather then a punishment."
— Ryan Wheelbarger
"I go to Tech and I am completely shocked and horrified by the events of today. I hope the university and President Steger are held responsible for not communicating to the students because two class periods went on this morning before anyone was notified. Steger has stood up in front of the cameras like a bumbling idiot trying to defend the decision not to notify the students in any due time. I hope people in the news like yourself make sure this is brought to light. I love VT and thank the world for their prayers."
"I am currently a sophomore at Virginia Tech, and have been closely following your coverage of the tragedy at my school. I feel that for the most part this coverage has been well done. However, one comment appalled me. In reference to a student comment, "today we are all Hokies", one reporter from the University of Virginia said that he has read the definition of a "Hokie" a hundred times, and still doesn't understand. I feel that in the wake of this event, there is no place for silly intercollegiate rivalries. This comment was tastelessly done and displayed no class. To those of the Virginia Tech community, "Hokie" does not necessarily represent an object, but more of an ideal. "Hokie" is a term that bonds the students, faculty and staff, and alumni together. For us "Hokie" is a feeling or a state of mind. That student summed it up best by saying that "today we are all Hokies," because in the wake of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, everybody feels like they are apart of our "Hokie Nation.'" Thank You."
"As a graduate student about to receive my second degree at Virginia Tech, I am shocked and stunned at the negative feedback concerning the tragedy today. As both a student and an employee of the school, I know that there was no way to handle this situation better and I find it disgraceful that parents would request the firing of our president or anyone else involved. The students here support the university and I have received countless emails all day and was stopped from leaving my apartment by police. This town handled the tragedy with amazing grace."
—E. Carter Holloway