Freshmen share their reactions to shooting


One year after the Feb. 14 shootings, some NIU freshmen shared their reactions and stories about why they still chose NIU while others told them otherwise.

Devon Harriss, freshman illustration major and DeKalb resident, was at her boyfriend’s apartment after a day at school last Feb. 14.

“I was scared because it was so close to home,” Harriss said. “I heard the helicopters, and I cried. The next day, our school had a moment of silence and spent the day talking about what happened.”

After the shootings, some freshmen said others advised them to go to another school.

“People at my work tried to convince me and my roommate not to go,” said freshman undecided major Breanne Lindsay.

Freshman undecided major Marina Salinas said her parents asked similar questions.

“My mom asked if I still wanted to go,” Salinas said. “My dad was totally against it.”

Freshman undecided major Katy Siler said the press did not help her nerves.

“The media really added to the fear factor,” Siler said.

The shootings did not change Siler’s decision to attend NIU, but it does bother her from time to time.

“Walking past Cole Hall bothered me a lot at first, but it lessened,” Siler said. “It still makes me sad every once in a while, knowing people our age died.”

Others, like Lindsay, are not phased when walking by.

“I walk past that building twice a day,” Lindsay said. “I don’t really notice anymore.”

Salinas said the shooting did not feel real until she started school.

For Harriss, the NIU community has been more than welcoming to incoming freshmen.

“I think there’s a lot more publicity for clubs and groups,” Harriss said. “It feels like they really want to get you to join.”