Being Respectful

Matt DiGiovanni

Last Wednesday (4/11) marked a sad time at UNH following the announcement of the untimely death of sophomore Stirling Danskin. The campus community immediately came together, and the outpouring of support for everyone who needed it was comforting to see. While I know many members of the UNH faculty and staff were there for students who needed support, I would like to highlight my appreciation for Professor Marty O’Connor, the university chaplain, who is always there for students in need. He stayed in his office until midnight on Wednesday waiting for any students who wanted to meet with him, and for him to be willing to do that says a lot about him.

As for student efforts to be there for each other, MEISA and the Audio Engineering Society stepped up immediately to put on the event “A Remembrance in Honour of Stirling Danskin.” The event will be on Wednesday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m. in the Bixler-Botwinik quad and will include candles, music, and an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to speak. I hope everyone who can attend will, regardless of whether you personally knew Stirling or not. The university is mourning the loss of a member of our Charger family, and we should all come together and support everyone who needs it.

Unfortunately, there were a few instances of disrespect following the announcement that I saw on Facebook. Everyone deals with loss and sadness differently, and I understand that, but some of the tasteless comments that popped up were completely out of line. I don’t want to harp on this for very long, but I just want to remind everyone to be respectful in situations like this. Stirling’s family is going through a very rough time right now, as are all of his friends. Sure, you may think your post is private and only your close friends can see it, but that might not turn out to be true. Someone who is devastated already doesn’t need more grief thrown on him or her by an insensitive post on Facebook. Keep in mind everyone involved before posting potentially harmful words. Put yourself in the other persons’ shoes.

As the academic year comes to a close, I hope that everyone picks themselves up from this and perseveres to end the semester on a high note. Try to stay on top of your work and plan ahead to wrap up the last two and a half weeks with everything in order. If you need help with anything, be sure to seek out all the resources the university has to offer, whether that be the Center for Learning Resources, the Office of Counseling Services, a professor, your advisor, or any other office, department, or group on campus. Work hard and take care of yourselves!

For more information on the MEISA/AES event mentioned above, head to http://www.facebook.com/events/325870340814222/

If you want grief counseling, the university has arranged for it to be available around the clock through Empathia Counseling Services, which can be reached at 866-713-1978