ROSEBURG, Ore. (KOIN) — Umpqua Community College President Rita Cavin said the college will be ready to fully re-open by October 12, more than a week after the horrific attack that took 9 lives and injured 9 more.
Cavin said one of the injured students had already returned to campus, and said she is struck by the bravery of everyone involved.
UCC re-opened for grief counseling Monday, though schedules won’t resume until October 12.
“It is not business as usual for us right now,” Cavin said.
For students, staff and alumni, it seems surreal.
Alumnus Scott Leverett said what many people were thinking.
“We can’t be known all over the world, all over the country for this incident, because there is too much good that’s happening here,” he told KOIN 6 News.
Grey tarps covered Snyder Hall, where the rampage took place.
“Everybody that walks by there, their heart is dragging on the ground behind them,” Leverett said.
Students and staff were greeted by flowers and messages of support as the campus re-opened for the first time since the shooting.
Students were allowed to get the belongings they left behind during the chaos of last week.
Cory Fitzsimmons returned to campus Monday and said it was “nerve racking.”
“It’s still a little apprehensive just coming here after what happened,” he said.
A tribute area was set up in Swanson Amphitheatre, she said, and will be open all week.
Cavin added they are mindful of the time families need together, and will respect that as they move forward with plans throughout the week.
Dr. Christine Seals spoke both personally and professionally, as one of the victims was a patient of hers. But she said, “One pencil can be broken. But we are like a bunch of pencils — we are strong.”
Associate Professor of Social Services Jan Woodcoock had a special message for students.
“We will learn some things with you this year that are not on the syllabus,” she said. “We don’t know what that will look like yet, but we will learn it together as we move forward.
Woodcock said emergency lockdown training came in “very handy.” She said they were in lockdown for about 2 hours, and some of her students began getting information from as far away as Denmark that kept them informed..
“It was nice to have the phones there to get some of the information,” she said.
Woodcock was in another building about 4 buildings away on the 97-acre campus.
Asked if Snyder Hall, where the shooting took place, would re-open, Cavin said, “We will figure it out.”
“Everybody needs to know that we need to keep pushing forward. People are saying they should tear (Snyder Hall) down,” Leverett said. “I say no. I say, that’s how he wins. I say we build that building back up. We get some more people in there that need to learn.”
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