Spring Doesn't Always Bring New Beginnings

Spring usually signifies rebirth and growth after a long, cold winter. This spring on the hill, we are experiencing the opposite. For the third time this year, Denisonians are grappling with the loss of one of our own. Spring is supposed to be a new beginning, but we are dealing with the end of another beautiful life.

Sean Bonner was a sophomore on the Big Red baseball team. Tianyue Li was an international student who was months away from graduating. And most recently, Adriana Santiago was a sophomore in the education department.

We have been forced to say goodbye to all three of these students this year. I find it devastatingly ironic that we are confronted with such tragedy when we are finally starting to see the light of spring shining through. We see the simultaneous growth of happiness and flowers in spring, but now instead we must foster the growth of ourselves and our community in the face of this recent sadness.

As many people are aware, Denison is a very small school: around 2,400 students. This means that every loss in our community is amplified tremendously. Even though I did not know any of the students who have passed away this year, I personally feel the tragedy in my community. I see friends, classmates, and professors who are deeply troubled. I see articles and emails about mourning and remembrance. This place has so quickly become my home away from home, and my heart goes out to everyone here as well as the friends and family of the students whom we have lost.

I am a freshman and one of the biggest appeals of starting college was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I never once imagined that this new chapter would involve so much end. At such a young and vulnerable time, it’s difficult to comprehend that other people my age can be struggling mentally or physically with issues so beyond their control.

Spring has sprung here in Granville, but I can’t help but notice the undeniable desire amongst my fellow students to end this gut-wrenching year as quickly as possible. I have loved my new home on the hill, but I agree that it is time for a break. We all need a breather from the loss and sorrow that we have had to address this academic year. Hopefully in the fall Denisonians can feel the sense of a new beginning while of course remembering all three of our fellow students who will not get to see another spring.

Rest in peace, Sean, Tianyue, and Adrianna.