By: Panpan Wang, Student Body President, FTMBA
Over the last 24 hours I've written a lot of emails regarding the tragic events that occurred at Haas. Knowing that my classmates were getting an avalanche of information from various traditional and social media channels, I wanted to help disseminate as much information as quickly as possible. However, in informing others, I realized that it's been difficult to find my own time to reflect on the events. So, when a classmate asked me this afternoon to write a blog post regarding "the MBA Association's (our student government's)" perspective, I naturally agreed. In my position I'm used to having to provide an "official" perspective on things.
But as the words initially failed to materialize from my keyboard, I realized that the underlying premise that I should have a unique perspective, is a premise that I should at least partially refute.
Standing outside of our classroom buildings and learning piece by piece the details of what happened from university police, it didn't matter who you were: we all shared same confusion and anxiety. This morning when our Dean announced to our community a mere 15 minutes after finding out the details himself that the suspect was an undergraduate Cal student and that he'd died of his wounds, it didn't matter if you were student, faculty, or staff: we all felt the same anguish. That I experienced these events differently than any of my other classmates is false. That the pain in learning that the deceased suspect was a part of our undergraduate community should be any different for me, is false. I've felt all of the same emotions as the rest of my colleagues and friends. Everything about this situation hurts, and I'm still working my own way through what is happening.
However, what has perhaps been unique is being able to see how our campus as a whole has, to use our Dean's words, leaned in on itself in this time of tragedy. From the responsiveness of campus law enforcement, to the transparency demonstrated by Haas staff... From the care shown by my classmates for one another, to the support shown across Haas's various degree programs... From the kind words I've been getting from other programs across the Berkeley campus, to the outpouring of concern from Berkeley alumni, it's clear that we have the love and support of so many people.
Thanks to all of you who have reached out to me and my classmates, and especially those from other graduate institutions. We deeply appreciate your generosity and support during this time. We also ask that you keep the deceased student and his family in your thoughts.
At Berkeley-Haas we pride ourselves on having a small and close-knit program, and before yesterday I couldn't imagine us getting any closer. Now, I can't imagine us not.