Friday night, I had tucked myself into bed when the phone rang. It was my son — a student at University of California, Santa Barbara.
“Mom! There’s a drive-by shooter. A guy in a black BMW is randomly shooting people in IV! We can’t get home. Everything’s on lockdown.”
This was not a call I was expecting. Nor, one I wanted to receive.
Saturday afternoon, he called again. “I just went to the store. We’re on lockdown again and I can’t get home.”
Friday night the lockdown was because of the shootings and crashing of the BMW. Saturday, the police were removing male roommates from the killer’s apartment building.
l followed the story closely on the news. It’s almost all I could do for most of the weekend. I don’t understand why there was a leap to call this a hate crime and a war on women — and the fault of the NRA — when three victims were males who had been stabbed to death. I don’t understand why it happened, or how it could have been prevented. I believe the rush to judgement was an attempt to try to make sense or find a cause for this horrific tragedy.
My heart and prayers go to all the families at UCSB. It’s been a tough year. I think the great academic accomplishments of the school are being overshadowed by tragedy. There’s too much trauma for students to digest. I wonder how these events will affect our kids in their future lives? Read about the academic accomplishments of UCSB in the LA Times here.
Just a few weeks ago, I got a call from my son during the Deltopia riots. I wrote it about Deltopia here.
Then, weeks before that I saw on the TV about a UCSB Women’s Studies professor denying a pro-life teenager her right to free speech by assaulting her and cutting up her poster. I wrote about that here.
Add that to the weekly emails about a meningitis outbreak, and it hasn’t been a stellar year for UCSB parents, students, or the faculty.
The frantic fear in my son’s voice is not what I envisioned hearing. I am sure this is not isolated at UCSB, but must becoming more common at universities across our country. Is this the new normal for our kids? They aren’t experiencing the carefree college years that we did. Where did that world go?
Photos from the top: UCSB campus overlooking the lagoon. A view from a dorm room at UCSB. Across the lagoon to the ocean. A Deltopia party picture. The confrontation between the Women’s Studies Professor and teen-age pro-life advocate. The view of the beach from UCSB campus.