About 24 hours following Monday’s shooting rampage, students started making the pilgrimage to the Inn at Virginia Tech—-some to comfort families of lost loved ones, others to sit on the slope bordering the parking lot and watch Big Media do its thing. Rows and rows of satellite trucks—-30 dishes tilted skyward—-can be a wonderously absurd thing.
But today yesterday, Virginia Tech students started turning on the media. There is the sign in a first-floor classroom building urging the media to go home. There are the boxes of Gatorade, Powerade, and water placed on the Drillfield, in front of the student union and the performing arts building. Attached to the boxes is a sign: “Free for Hokies.” By 5 p.m., a student, a young cheery woman, passed out flyers to the media mass congregating at the hotel’s conference room. The flyers stated:
We are Hokie Nation, and we need to mourn and heal. We need each other.
The media has taken advantage of our situation and are exploiting us for their own sensationalism. We will not tolerate the abuse; we love our community far too much to stand for this any more.
We, the students of Virginia Tech, are asserting ourselves. We are taking back our campus.
All media, if they have any respect for Hokie Nation, will no longer attack our administration. They will no longer hound our students.
Leave us to heal. Leave us to ourselves. Hokie Nation needs to be UNITED.
Return our campus to us.
We are Strong. We are Virginia Tech.