Geology students regroup at NIU

February 26, 2008 3:30:56 PM PST
Twelve days after a gunman went on a shooting rampage during their lecture hall, NIU students taking Geology 104 returned to class. Five classmates were killed in the shooting at Cole Hall on February 14, 2008.

The college reopened to students on Monday, but the geology class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cole Hall remains closed.

One hundred and sixty-two students are enrolled in Geology 104 and Introduction to Ocean Science. There were several empty seats in the class's alternative meeting site, but those who could make it encouraged each other to show.

"She was worried about having to go there. So I told her that it's part of moving forward. It really is," said Colim Leicht, NIU Senior.

"It sounded like he enjoyed the class before all this happened. And like I said, he's anxious to get back," said Christopher Morlin, NIU Junior

The Geology 104 students met with school administrators and counselors at the student center to discuss what happens next- including the option to drop the class and figuring out who should teach it.

Jennifer Mejia, who was friends with one of the gunman's victims, has yet to return to class.

"I know people that were on the room and I knew one of the people who passed away," said Jennifer Mejia, NIU Junior. "I just got back last night and I had a nervous breakdown and went home. But my mom sent me back."

The Huskey men's basketball team will be back in action Tuesday night for the first sports game since the shooting. All students get a free pass.

"This is a good thing," said Terrence Travis, NIU Senior, who said going to the game might help students gain a sense of normalcy.

Students in a political science class already began debating how long memorials on campus should stand. "We just started talking about whether that was appropriate. A lot of tough questions being asked. A lot of anger around," said Morlin.