Column: University attack in Kenya deserves discussion

Instead of ignoring and diminishing the attack, we need to be talking about it openly.

More than 100 people were killed in a terrorist attack at Garissa University in Kenya last week. Outside of the 147 people killed, about 700 others were injured as they ran to escape the gunfire.

The American media’s response was underwhelming to say the least. Some media outlets had coverage on the attack and who was behind it, but many failed to report on the issue. Reading and hearing about the attack made me think about how tragic the events must have been for students at the university.

Some said the attack was against people identified as Christian, while other students in attendance said they felt that the attack was random and the people killed were at random, according to BBC.

I could not help but wonder what we as a campus would do if something like this were to happen at our school. We are a more developed country than Kenya and many other countries in Africa, but we are not better or worth more.

MU is a safe place with many resources and plans to avoid such catastrophic events like the one in Kenya, but do we discuss these problems happening around the world enough? Students just like us now can’t complete their courses to graduate because of the deeply terrifying decision to destroy made by one group of individuals. Shouldn’t we at least feel something?

The students in Kenya who lost their lives for no reason were on their way to hopeful, bright futures. Your religion should not be a basis for you to have that opportunity abruptly taken away from you, especially not at a place where you are there to better yourself and expand your mind.

I want MU to be a place where students can look at these events happening in far corners of the world and know they can talk about it. We have forums and events surrounding social justice and diversity, but we don’t talk about things unless they are directly affecting the campus or students on it.

We have an African population at MU, and they are being put in the difficult situation of having to grieve quietly because no one wants to talk about this. We can’t be choosy when it comes to which international issues we want to discuss and pay attention to. In order to fully understand the world we live in, active discussion is necessary.

As a university, I want to stand in solidarity with the victims and their families and all who were affected by this attack.

We are not immune to the evils of the world at MU, even though we rarely fall victim to them. The students in Kenya are just the like students here; they are not separate from us. As a leading institution that prides itself on diversity and equality, we should be holding out our hands to help our friends across the world.

Let us strive to make all campuses around the country and world safer places. Millions of students are on the trail to higher education so they can make better of themselves, and danger and violence should be the least of their worries. Some things are out of our control, but there are things we can all do to make sure the safety of students is upheld.

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