this is not my first campus shooting

Wasn’t I just here? Yes, I was.

Saucy Scholar fans may remember my inaugural post was on the UC Santa Barbara shooting. I was teaching at UCSB, and I had also been a grad student there for five years prior. It was my first campus shooting. It was intense and traumatic to the campus community. It was shocking. It was unexpected. I immediately contacted my students to ask if they were safe and ok.

UCSB held a memorial service at the outdoor soccer stadium. Probably 25,000 people were there. As I was heading to the memorial, I saw a friend sitting at the campus bus stop, waiting to go home. I asked why he wasn’t going to the memorial. He said: “this is not my first campus shooting.” I remembered he was from Virginia Tech.

This morning I have been contacted by many people asking if I am safe and ok. You see, there was a shooting on my campus. The one I currently teach at. Like my friend, I can also now say this is not my first.

Lots of public figures are sending their love and their thoughts and their prayers. I don’t want that. I want outrage. I want shock. I want action. But we don’t do that anymore for campus shootings. They are upsetting but normal. School shootings are no longer aberrations. And they should no longer be unexpected by me.

This is now part of the life of the academic. This must now be part of the pedagogy of professors. In addition to job market advice and tenure advice,  can The Chronicle and The Professor Is In start writing advice columns on ways faculty can deal with this?

This is how I ended that first post, the one on the UCSB shooting:

“I honestly don’t know how to end this. So I won’t. Because this is a conversation I’m going to have to have in every fucking class I teach from now on at UCSB. And it’s going to have to constantly evolve.”

Bingo. Bingo. Here I am again.
Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 8.31.20 AM


About Meredith Heller

The Saucy Scholar is Faculty Lecturer of Queer Studies in Women's and Gender Studies at Northern Arizona University. She holds a Ph.D. in Theater Studies and a doctoral emphasis in Feminist Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and specializes in performance and entertainment, gender studies, and queer theory.
This entry was posted in academia, social media, society, violence and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to this is not my first campus shooting

  1. great article. Unfortunately I cannot share it with my colleagues in the Psychology Dept at National University as I was just told this week that my emails of academic articles on the subject of campus shootings were considered offensive and unwanted “personal political” material and this inappropriate for campus email. So apparently being a campus where shootings could occur does not make this a relevant workplace topic. Censureship is alive and well at my University thanks to some faculty choosing to live in the dark ages rather than discuss controversial topics like gun control and campus safety.

Comments are closed.