California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Time to Heal: Two Days Off Was Not Enough

    Following the events of the tragic shooting and fires that affected our community, California Lutheran University students were offered plenty of therapy horses and puppies, but a few more days away from class would have been better.

    The night of the shooting and the days that followed were anything but easy. Every emotion from sadness to fear, grief and shock were shared between students and people from the community alike. Cal Lutheran should have canceled classes for several more days to allow for time to process these emotions.

    An email from President Chris Kimball on Nov. 8 informed students that classes would be canceled through Nov. 9 โ€œto allow for the grieving process.โ€

    On Nov. 10, students received a follow-up email informing them that main campus classes would resume on Nov. 12. In between the Borderline shooting and the start of classes on Monday, some students were displaced from their homes because of the Woolsey Fire and were missing internet connection for most of the weekend.

    When asked why classes were resumed so quickly, Melinda Roper, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, said, โ€œBy resuming classes on Monday, November 11, our hope was to provide opportunities for people to come together and reconnect, return to routine if they felt ready, and begin to heal from the tragedies of the previous week.โ€

    Although some students may have wanted to feel some sense of normality following the events, two days just isnโ€™t enough to heal and accept the reality that our community is the victim of yet another mass shooting.

    โ€œEven though a lot of people like getting back to normal, a lot of students had a really hard time coping with everything that had happened, and I donโ€™t think that going back to school helped with that,โ€ said Cal Lutheran junior Kaia Maudal.

    Pushing for a sense of normality is something that seems so far-fetched, considering tragic events like these take months, if not years, to have things resume back to a sense of normal.

    Many professors spent the first days back discussing the events that happened in our community anyway, rather than moving on. If Cal Lutheran wanted normality, then professors should have focused completely on class material or class shouldnโ€™t have been held at all.

    Other schools in the area, including the entire Conejo Valley Unified School District and universities like California State University, Channel Islands and Pepperdine University, were closed until after Thanksgiving. If these schools could have this much extra time off, couldnโ€™t Cal Lutheran students have a few more days?

    Even though attendance policies were not in place when classes resumed, students who were not able to make it to class might have felt that they were missing out.

    Emails from the school emphasized that faculty would work with students to make up assignments, but this puts an extra stress on students.

    One way of helping students cope was to provide comfort dogs and therapeutic horses on campus. As adorable and heart-warming as puppies and horses can be, this sense of comfort will only last when regularly interacting with the animals.

    Cal Lutheran encouraged students to visit Counseling and Psychological Services if needed, but should have given students a week to heal, whether this included going home or simply taking time for themselves.

    โ€œHonestly I have no idea if having therapy horses and puppies were effective therapeutic ways. I think it may have helped some students cope, but not necessarily the majority,โ€ said Rachel Ereso, a junior at Cal Lutheran.

    All in all, events like these are not something people heal from in two days, especially when there are other circumstances like fires involved.ย  Cal Lutheran should have planned for more time off in order to allow students, faculty and staff to grieve.

    Alejandra Gonzalez