For Northern Illinois, a Show of Support

Condolences pour in from other universities.

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• Richard Herman, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has offered sympathy and assistance to those at Northern Illinois University. The shooter, Steve Kazmierczak, was a graduate student at the Urbana-Champaign campus School of Social Work.

“The entire University of Illinois family extends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of the victims, and to everyone on the Northern Illinois University campus affected by this tragedy,” wrote the chancellor.

 A blog and list of resources have also been published for the Illinois student body.

• Illinois’s student newspaper, the Daily Illini, has also extended its support and compiled reaction from campus leaders. “To a degree, college students everywhere share a special bond,” writes the editorial board. “Today, we want the NIU community to know that bond it shares with the Illini nation—and with students across the nation—grows stronger in the face of adversity.”

• Students at Northwestern University also had close ties to the shaken campus.

"Ninety percent of my friends go to NIU," said one student. "It's pretty scary, because I don't know who any of the people (in the shooting) are, and I probably know at least their names."

• The Western Courier, out of Western Illinois University, sends out similar sentiments:

For the second time in our tenure as student journalists, we have the unfortunate duty of reporting a campus shooting. Sadly, this incident is closer to home. We at the WC wish we could offer answers as to why yet another campus was shocked and saddened as innocent students were injured and killed while attending class. The only certainty we can provide is a harsh truth—incidents like these, no matter how tragic and infuriating, cannot be prevented.

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger wrote an open letter to NIU:

Our university community was bolstered and comforted by the outpouring of support from campuses around the nation and the world.

I am sure that expressions of support from the Virginia Tech community will mean much to that now suffering campus community.

We should take this opportunity now to reach out and help each other. I am convinced that our university community coped because of our care and concern for every member of the extended Hokie Family. I ask you to look out for each other and seek help through university services if necessary.

• As can be expected nowadays, Facebook has facilitated an outpouring of support from all over the country. Thousands of members have joined dozens of groups like “ Pray for Northern Illinois University Students and Families,” “Tribute to Northern Illinois Victims,” and “God Bless Northern Illinois University.” Messages and photos in the most prolific of those groups number in the thousands.

• Meanwhile, schools are once again looking inward, evaluating their own mental health and security systems and reminding students that help is available. And they are asking a question that everyone has asked too many times: Could it happen here?