Staff Editorial: Responding to a campus tragedy

Yesterday our community learned a member of the GW family took his own life in City Hall residence hall. While the Colonial family may not know the student’s identity, we all know a loss of this proportion can elicit guilt, sadness and fear.

This type of death forces a community to accept its incomprehension. It reminds us to stop and appreciate what we have, while remembering that some of our peers may be dealing with unimaginable emotions and stress.

Throughout the upcoming weeks, students might ask fundamental questions that seem inextricable from a suicide – could I have prevented this? Was it even preventable?

These questions we now face as a community will likely cause a range of emotions, as everyone processes grief differently.

We urge anyone who is having trouble accepting this loss to contact the University Counseling Center, which has made counselors available to all students.

There is little we can say in a situation as jarring as this, besides our hearts and thoughts go out to this student’s family and friends.

When Laura Treanor and Taylor Hubbard died, we used this space to remember these members of our Colonial family. We had their friends speak through us so the entire community could remember them together.

Today, as the family is still being notified of its loved one’s death, we find any discussion of what’s next, or our feelings, to be trite compared to the loss the community feels as a whole.

Until we know the identity of this student, we cannot move forward as we are unable to grasp what his death truly means for GW.

So we leave the majority of these inches empty, as a testament to the emotions we still face and the loss we will continue to feel.

While it may not be enough, it may not be substantial, we, like many of you, are at a loss as to how this could have happened to a fellow Colonial.

When details of this student’s life surface, we will be ready to honor his contributions to GW while remembering his legacy.

Until then, we can only hope students who are contemplating suicide seek help before feeling like taking their own lives is their only remedy.

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