A Message To Student Leaders In The Wake Of A Campus Attack

On Tuesday, January 17, a man attacked a student in one of Regent’s residence halls. This incident left many people in fear, including some leaders that strive to keep our campus safe. This article is for those who still struggling with the attack, especially RA’s and Life Group Leaders.

As a former Life Group Leader, I understand that things happen and you can’t talk about them with anyone.  You may feel alone and wonder how you are going to process this on your own. You have your fellow leaders, but some of your closest friends aren’t even in leadership, so there begins to feels like a disconnect.

First, I want to say it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to not be happy all the time, when you're expected to. It’s okay to set up extra, temporary boundaries that allow yourself to process. It’s okay to take more time to take care of yourself. You cannot pour into others what you don’t have for yourself.

Secondly, it's okay to experience fear. There can be a unspoken expectation from people that leaders shouldn’t experience fear. Students look up to their leaders for advice, guidance, and information, especially under stressful circumstances. In the past, I have stopped myself from working through situations completely, because I allowed myself to believe that leaders shouldn’t experience fear.

But I am human, just like every leader. We won’t always have the skills and tools that the people we are leading are looking for. And that’s okay. We aren’t God.

Thirdly, I see all your hard work and effort you are putting in to keep us safe. All the rules and regulations that were implemented after the attack have received various opinions and comments, and I’m sure it’s not easy to implement a rule for other's safety and have them not understand your decision.

I personally may not agree with all of them, but I trust you. I wasn’t involved in the situation directly; therefore, I can't judge you for why you are deciding these things.

I thank you for handling this situation in a calm and efficient way, seeing the needs of Regent’s community and taking the time to put your needs aside while addressing new safety issues.

Your efforts do not go unseen, and I am blessed that God raised all of you up as student leaders. You handle emotional, physical and spiritual needs in ways that I know I would never be able to.

I pray that God will provide for your needs and you get extra rest.