As college students, we are faced with a large amount of change throughout our educational career. We overcome challenges and learn from the experiences that are presented to us. These experiences, good and bad, change and form us. When a terrible tragedy strikes our community, it has the power to change the emotions surrounding our campus.
Nearing a year ago, seven Georgia Southern nursing students were involved in an accident on I-16. Sadly, five girls were killed in the accident. This edition of The George-Anne is another way for these fallen Eagles to be remembered and have their lives celebrated. Our editorial board wants to be able to create a respectful remembrance of these five students.
Not only do tragedies such as these affect our community but they also affect individual students, regardless of whether we have a connection to those involved or not. Each one of us can relate to these fallen Eagles and that is why it hits so close to home. This occurred on a road that many students often travel and it could have happened to anyone of us.
We as a community are not faced with the death of our peers often. There is not a period of time in your late teens and early twenties where you expect the students around you to pass. When anyone around us passes, we are forced to discuss and think about ideas that are difficult to comprehend.
This tragic incident is important to talk about, but the fact of the matter is that as humans we face mortality everyday. Sadly, more students have passed during the time we have attended GS and while we remember these five students lost, we must also remember the other members of the GS community that have been lost.
“It was tragic to lose those five nurses and it was particularly tragic for me as the former chair of the school of nursing because this had a different meaning for me,” Jean Bartels, Interim President of GS, said. “But a number of students lose their lives on this campus or while they are at campus…I’m very conscious of all of the students that we lose and we don’t memorialize everyone of them and they are just as important. I don’t want us to only focus on these people and to forget some others.”
Obviously this incident sticks out to us because we lost five students in the same moment, but it is important to remember that every student’s life is precious. Every student who passes, whether through natural causes or a tragic accident, is a member of our community and their death hurts all the same.
While we want to take this day to remember these girls who lost their lives, we encourage those on our campus and those close to the GS community to remember all students who have passed over the years. Let us remember their presence, and revel in the memories that we shared with them.