COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Hundreds in the campus community gathered at St. John Arena Tuesday night to show what “Buckeye Strong” means after the horrific attack Monday morning on The Ohio State University campus.
Spokesperson for OSU Student Life Dave Isaacs said it’s a way for people to process their feelings.
“It’s important when a traumatic event happens that people come together, talk about it, release their emotions in a sense of community,” he said. “We are Buckeye Strong and this is our chance to be Buckeye Strong together.”
Students, faculty, staff and members of Buckeye Nation came to lift each other up during a difficult time.
“My heart goes out to the families and those who were injured,” said OSU freshman Jeffrey Simko.
“This is such an awful thing that’s happened,” said Buckeye fan Mike Corbin. “We’re here to support and we don’t know what else we can do other than just to show it.”
OSU junior Sihsan Ssaleh said he came to the event to heal, but also to personally thank the officers that protect campus every day.
“I’m really glad that we have such brave men and women on our police department here,” he said. “I believe that we’re a resilient community and we’re going to move on and stay strong.”
OSU President Dr. Michael Drake and Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston with Student Life relayed a message of strength and unity.
“I encourage everyone to move forward in the spirit of unity and move forward in the knowledge that we can and will emerge from these difficult days as one Buckeye Community,” said Dr. Drake.
“We are hurting,” said Dr. J. “We are anxious and we are sometimes weary, but remember we are stronger together.”
Undergraduate Student Body President Gerard Basalla also addressed the crowd.
“In the aftermath of this heinous act, one thing must permeate…The Ohio State University is a place for all people, from all backgrounds and all beliefs. We will not cower in the face of adversity, but rather our student body will come together as one Buckeye family,” he said. “We are a community of love for all people at all times and we will work tirelessly to ensure that no matter who you are or where you are from you will feel safe and welcome here.”
OSU Public Safety Director Dr. Monica Moll spoke at the event and relayed a message from Ofc. Alan Horujko who could not attend the event. He’s being called a hero after he shot and killed Abdul Razak Ali Artan Monday morning, ending the attack that injured 11 people.
“In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, I’m very humbled by the amazing amount and outpouring of support from the Columbus community and beyond,” Moll said on the officer’s behalf. “Not just for me, but for all of yesterday’s first responders. I know I acted just as any of the officers I serve with would have. I want to thank everyone again for their support and wish the campus community continued healing.”
Dr. Moll also reminded the campus community if you see something, say something.
“We continue to do everything we can to enhance safety on campus and encourage anyone that feels unsafe or sees suspicious behavior to report it to police,” she said.
Speakers at the event also encouraged students to seek support and as well as extend support to others in need. Counseling is available for students at the Office of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service. Students can call CCS at 614-292-5766. After-hours, press option 2 for immediate assistance to talk to a therapist.