To Pepperdine: You are not alone in this tragedy

On Nov. 7, about 100 people, including college students, went to a local bar to spend their Wednesday night with their friends, unaware of the horrific events to come, affecting their lives forever.

At 11:20 p.m., a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, killing 12 people and wounding many others. Among those who lost their lives – a freshman English major at Pepperdine University.

We write this editorial in remembrance of Alaina Housley, and the eleven others who passed away Wednesday night.

In an email to students, faculty and staff, Dr. Phil Schubert, president, said:

“We are deeply saddened to learn that among those who passed away in last night’s mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, was Alaina Housley, a Pepperdine University student. Reports from their campus indicate that as many as 16 students were present at the scene, and we know there must be tremendous anxiety and grief among those at our sister school in Malibu.”

As students, we have dealt with tragedy many times, and come together as family and community to grieve the peers we have lost. Now more than ever, Pepperdine is family too.

“It wasn’t until I clicked the linked article that I realized the shooting hit incredibly close to home,” Keaton Ross said in an opinion editorial for the Oklahoma Christian University student publication Talon News.

And as it was for us.

With each mass shooting that occurs, they seem to be getting more relevant and parallel to our lives. It was difficult to feel safe in our newsroom after the Capital Gazette shooting, and now it’s difficult to feel safe in the places we enjoy, too.

The students at Pepperdine, similar to those of us at ACU, were only going to spend time with friends the way many do at Guitars every Thursday. Our schools have similar values, our students have similar experiences, so how much closer until it’s us.

To Pepperdine: We are in constant prayer for your students, faculty and staff, as well as the families affected by the death of Housley. There is unimaginable pain in losing those close to you, a pain we have come to know all too well. Remember as you grieve, you are not alone.

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