It’s crazy how fast time flies by, and especially how it flies by while campus gets preoccupied by classes, extracurriculars, and socializing. It’s already been a week since Pittsburgh was struck by the tragic act of hate claiming 11 beautiful lives. While the many in the community are still taking things in, it was really encouraging and touching to see the outpouring of love and care the past week from the University, faculty, and staff from all walks of life come together. It was really heartwarming to hear when I and so many others were turned down by CMU police that the campus gathering had hit capacity for both Rangos Ballroom and McConomy Auditorium (the overflow space). Never underestimate the power of community!
I was especially touched (and quite frankly, teared up a bit myself) when several of my Tepper professors shared candidly and openly their feelings and vulnerabilities. To be honest, it had caught me off guard at the ‘realness’ and vulnerability that they had exhibited. Especially with the (sad) perception of Tepper faculty being less easily ‘moved’ by emotions, it definitely shook my expectations a bit. For it too has took me the past couple years to truly understand the importance of feelings and emotions – that it is okay for anyone, men or women, to cry. And this past Thursday, Dean Dammon and various faculty and staff from both Business and Economics really solidified their commitment to those themes of community and mental health at the undergraduate Tepper Town Hall. While we discussed not only last weekend’s events but also ideas for the continued improvement of the Tepper Quad, to hear from Dean Dammon himself as well as Dr. Goldburg, Prof. Sleet (to name just a few in person) really means a lot to us students.
As a Resident Assistant in the residence hall and the office of Student Leadership Involvement and Civic Engagement (SLICE), we talk a lot about community building and engagement. We focus immensely on the power and patience of listening as well as the embrace of diversity and inclusion. There’s no story too minimal, no person too alone, no experience too identical. But at the heart of all of this are the powers of the human connection, empathy, and vulnerability. However heinous the tragedy has been, the love that I felt on Thursday as well as from the rest of the CMU community shall triumph many times over the hatred.
Special thanks to Douglas McIntyre, manager for Tepper Marketing & Communications, for reaching out earlier and noticing my absence from the blog the past month. Very thankful for knowing the support I have out there. I’ve definitely had quite reflection and self-discovery past couple weeks. November…new month, a chance to regroup and put my best foot forward. Absolutely hope to get back to blogging again (be on the lookout for cafe posts again!) and also to share and talk sometime in-person with anyone! The Tazza at Tepper is an amazing place 😛
Additionally, if you are feeling down or just want to talk to anyone, know that you are never alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone from faculty, advisors, friends, family, and RA/CA/Housefellows to CaPS and the Mindfulness Room on campus.