Our View: Lessons learned from tragedy

DKS Editors

In memory of James Barnes’ life and recent untimely death, the Kent State student body came together in candlelight vigil Thursday night to remember someone most of them had never met. While the university’s prayers and mourning are to be admired, we still can’t help but wonder how nobody questioned his absence until days after his death.

Several posts on KentWired have pointed fingers at the university for failing to discover his body until his family requested a welfare check, but really, unless someone filed a report, the university had no way of even knowing he was missing. Is the university to be held responsible for knowing every student’s whereabouts at all times?


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Even though no one can be blamed for what happened, the fact that no one raised questions presents a bigger problem: How well do students really know their hall mates? Sure, most freshmen tend to make friends with surrounding residents on their floors, but how many students stay confined to their rooms, either out of a desire to be alone or just because they don’t feel like they belong?

We are not trying to place blame, merely suggesting that all too often, students in residence halls don’t feel the need to socialize with their neighbors. Yes, all students are busy and need quiet time to themselves to study, but in the light of this tragedy, we encourage students just to say hello to someone they normally wouldn’t speak to on their floors.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.