This past week, certain things happened that will forevermore change the way people view the world, their school and life in general.
Last weekend a young woman was murdered in her Athens apartment — a student of the law school at the University of Georgia and an alumna of Georgia College & State University. As of this moment, no motive, no reason, no understanding. This heinous crime has turned the town of Athens upside down and made most of the women scared out of their minds.
I was not fortunate enough to know her. I wish that I would have known her. I wish that I could have been witness to her wonderful, short and amazing life. I know many people who did know her and who were deeply effected by her death.
What I think has scared most of us is the fact that our safety has been questioned. We seem to all go around in our everyday lives thinking that we are invisible and that nothing could happen to anyone we know, or especially not to us. GC&SU is pretty much a close knit community. If something happened to one of our students, the whole campus would mourn its loss, which was evident this past summer. Athens is no different.
One thing that has constantly been on my mind since I heard about this horrible incident is safety. I am asking each woman on this campus, in this town, to be aware of your surroundings. Please make sure you are always walking in well-lit areas. If there are areas on campus that aren’t well lit, let campus police know. Make sure that you lock your doors at all times. I don’t want to sound overbearing and I am not trying to scare anyone.
Or maybe I am. Maybe this should be a wake-up call to everyone that has heard of this. I guess what scares me so much is the reality of this. The way that life runs its everyday normal course and then one day it stops. The harsh brutality of people’s sickness is absolutely ridiculous. People who are capable of these kinds of crimes are not worthy of the presence of the innocent victims they prey upon.
In light of this tragedy, I feel our campus should take precautions to defend us. I feel that our campus police officers should take this initiative and increase awareness of these kinds of things. I know that organizations take it upon themselves to offer self-defense classes, but I think that our police officers need to do this. I am also planning on purchasing some pepper spray for protection and checking my deadbolt locks, just to be on the safe side. I think it would be a good idea for public safety to hand out pepper spray to students, or at least educate us how to use it properly.
In closing, one thing that I feel sure about is that you can never be too careful. If you get anything out of this editorial, please, especially girls, be careful. Don’t be to trusting of ANYONE. I have been effected by this tragedy, as I am sure everyone has. I pray that the town of Athens and the students of UGA and GC&SU can heal from this.