May 19, 2009

Undercurrents of Fear, Blissful Ignorance, Dominate Campus After Tragic Shooting

BOSTON — An early evening shooting yesterday at Harvard University has left the community here feeling shaken, and dangerously close to becoming aware of the real world.

The victim, a man in his early twenties and apparently not a Harvard student himself, was shot outside the university's Kirlkand House dormitory shortly before five p.m. last night. He was pronounced dead this morning.

Senior Bryant Bonner, a resident of Kirkland house, told the Bloomberg news service that he heard the shooting while in his room studying for his final exams. "I thought it was the lids of trash cans outside," he said.

Baltazar Zovola, another Kirkland resident and wide-receiver on the Harvard football team, heard the shooting from his room as well. “I thought it was someone dropping two or three futons,” he told the Boston Herald.

The Herald also interviewed Stella Barth, a junior at the university, who expressed shock that such a thing could have happened in a world governed by such harmony and intellectual rigour. “I was like, it’s 5 p.m. on a Monday," she told reporters. "Who could be that angry right now?”

In a remarkable stroke of luck, however, during what would otherwise be a grizzly murder investigation with three armed assailants still at large, ABC news reports that students living in Kirkland House may be given special dispensation for any final exams missed as a result of last night's incident.

The shooting has even proved a boon for student protesters who were planning a rally later today to challenge a series of university budget cuts, among which were proposals to increase class sizes, cut hot breakfasts, and reduce late-night campus shuttle services.

“The rally is definitely still on,” undergraduate council president Andrea Flores told Bloomberg reporters. “People feel even more now that issues of safety are going to be salient.”

The investigation continues.

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I extend my deepest condolences to the victim's family and friends. In case you can't tell, I'm a little upset that nobody else has thought to do so — I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be getting soundbites about futons if it WERE a Harvard student that had died.

1 comment:

RachelP said...

These "soundbites" are responses to questions from reporters, and I think it's pretty clear that the question was not "what are your feelings about the victim?", but rather, "what happened?" And that's really why such inane articles were written in the first place--practically no information has been released about the events. The victim's identity wasn't even known until this afternoon.

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