Abi Risser

Associate Opinion Editor

Hearing about a mass shooting, hate crime, or Neo-Nazi activity in the news that have become the norm when reading, watching, and/or listening to media outlets. These are a short list of examples of disasters faced in our society that we have become accustomed to. When hearing about a new one, many people understand the tragedy and horror, but the shock factor is lost, and it’s simply added to the list.

Many even think it’s unlikely that something like a mass shooting, hate crime, or Neo-Nazi activity would even happen near or around them; often everyone has thought this at some point, even the people affected by these events until the day it happens.

For example, Millersville got a taste of hate when MU Police found swastikas and hateful phrases written on public campus locations. To those most targeted by these actions, as well as those in communities that are typically hate crime and mass shooting targets, it can be terrifying to have swastikas appear on campus. Additionally, in this political climate as well as the stressful environment that college can harbor whether it be the stress of grades, debt, or social acceptance, there is the possibility for someone to “snap”, or outbreak, at any point in time.

What is trying to be conveyed is that Millersville University may become victim to troubling times in the future, but until that day comes, it is important that we, students, professors, and other staff, come together to form a greater sense of community on campus.

The campus needs to be a place where no one feels left out, unsafe or marginalized whatsoever. The word ‘community’ is defined as a group of people living in the same place or with similar characteristics. Another definition, however, describes the community as a feeling of fellowship or friendship with others.

A majority of the year is spent at Millersville University by those living or working on campus, making it a highly impactful part of said individuals lives. Many of us are here for more than just a shift or classes, and if there isn’t a positive sense of community all around, it can become a place that people despise. Especially in this climate of violence, forming cliques and expressing dislike towards groups of people cannot be how we live on campus. Coming together means acceptance, kindness, and friendliness to everyone.

As a community, no one should feel like an outcast or that they have no one here that cares about them. Just showing small acts of kindness each day in every person to person interaction can change lives and bring the campus community closer.

Having a sense of unity is what is needed to combat the hate and violence in the world we live in and is the only way we’re going to keep our campus safe.