Editorial: Our Staff Isn’t Going Anywhere

Since our news staff got word of the shooting at Borderline late on a night forever to be etched into all our memories, we ran out to cover what happened and talked to students who were caught in the crossfire.

In the midst of reporting on how our community was grappling with becoming the victim of yet another mass shooting, we discovered that fires were spreading into the current federal emergency that has forced students and faculty out of the places they call home.

Media from across the country have swooped in and told the story of how the quiet community of Thousand Oaks and a small, private Lutheran university have been impacted by these events.

But after the news vans leave and the nation’s attention turns elsewhere, we will still be here over the following weeks and months to inform and serve as a platform for people to share their stories. #TOStrong will fall out of use, but we hope the message persists.

The news that has arisen just within the past week is something we, as student journalists, would never wish to report on. Some of our staff have had homes threatened. As we go out into this devastated city and attempt to encapsulate fires, memorial services and the like, we, too, are struck with grief. But we press on with the hope of being a public service. Our ultimate goal is to write about how our school and its students, faculty and staff have been affected and to answer the questions everyone is asking regarding where we go from here.

We know the university has been working diligently to keep students informed and make them feel comforted in this time, from weekend hours at Counseling and Psychological Services to an open space in the chapel for students seeking a quiet place or a listening ear. Our call is that the university remain flexible.

The remainder of this semester will be anything but ordinary, and the pain we are experiencing as a community will inevitably extend into the new year. Continuing our education and offering a return to routine is important, but assignments and coursework must come second to students’ safety and mental health.

Campus Pastor Hazel Salazar-Davidson said that in the Bible, grief is frequently compared to being “stuck in the muck,” and the only way to get out is “with the help of other people.”

At this time, we are not just college students, professors and staff. The university must allow space for us to be real people grieving alongside one another.

To the staff who have been working non-stop to update students, attend memorial services, offer support and be present while their own friends and families have been hurting, your work does not go unnoticed.

It is our hope that despite the horrible circumstances, the community that is Cal Lutheran continues to come together and is strengthened beyond measure.

This is our community, and we aren’t going anywhere.

Editorial Staff