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Heartbreaking Article Doesn’t Define Hokie Community

Columnist Tamara Dietrich’s article in the Daily Press is shameful. I can’t pick a better word for her
demeaning, judgmental and disrespectful article other than shameful. I opened my Twitter account this morning and saw multiple tweets that read “Fire Dietrich” and I had to find out what this was concerning. As I read this woman’s article I couldn’t help but tear up out of pure anger and disgust. Here this woman was poking fun at our Hokie community and all we stand for during a time of tragedy; it was downright bullying. Shameful bullying that was coming from a professional journalist.

Dietrich said, “Tech is also known for quality football and the loyalty of its alumni—but, yes, it’s steadily solidifying its reputation as the school where you’re most likely to get shot.” I wanted to scream. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe a grown woman; a journalist at a well-known newspaper had the audacity to stereotype our community at a time like this. My heart hurt for our school, our community and most of all for her. She had no idea what she got herself into when she wrote such an article that was anything but empathetic for our school.

The heartbreaking article has many Hokies disappointed. Madeline Scholl, a sophomore at Virginia Tech emailed Dietrich concerning her insulting article.

Scholl, “You should be ashamed that you only focus on a few negative aspects, and you should be ashamed if your article has deterred even one potential student from applying to such an amazing school.”

Frustrated Hokies are encouraging the community (via Facebook and Twitter) to email Dietrich and the Daily Press regarding this negative article.

Logan Hooks, a junior at Virginia Tech and fellow Her Campus VT staff member emailed Dietrich.

Hooks said, “She has the right to say whatever she wants about us, but her article made it seem like this was our fault—we cannot be defined by something we have no control over.”

I know as a Hokie, I would not have wanted to attend another school but Virginia Tech. The Hokie Nation continues to amaze me at how much others have reached out and supported us during this tragic time. As a feature writer and a Social Media Director for Her Campus Virginia Tech, I was in awe over how much support we received on Dec. 8.

Fellow Her Campus branches from JMU, Tufts University, University of Alabama, High Point University, American University, Michigan State University, University of Virginia and many more sent us Twitter and Facebook posts telling us how they were keeping their thoughts and prayers with our Hokie Nation. Now that is true Hokie love.

Her Campus Pittsburgh tweeted us, “Sending our thoughts & prayers to Her Campus Virginia Tech
and the entire VT community! #staysafehokies”

As I pace back and forth trying to put all my anger into words, I can’t seem to define all the emotions I felt as I read her article. Her insensitive and ignorant words made me feel embarrassed for her as a fellow journalist. I know that her words are heartbreaking to read, but our Hokie Nation is stronger than words in an article. We will prevail from all this hurt and tragedy and I am absolutely sure of that. We are Virginia Tech.

Image taken from Tamara Dietrich’s Facebook profile.

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