Tragedy will not stop the Viking horde

Dear fellow Vikings,

I am heartbroken for the victims of the horrific attack on May 25, a sentiment I am sure is shared by every member of our community. Though we are shocked and grieving, we are still strong. The hurt we feel is not weakness; it is fuel for the spirit of this university. In an affirmation of that strength, I would like to propose a community action—a proposal offered in the spirit of support for the young women who were harmed and as a renewal of our commitment to our campus community.

I propose when the driver is arraigned for his crimes and when he is sentenced, that we pack the courtroom full of a Viking horde, hats and all! I want that individual and his victims to see that we aren’t shaken by his cowardice nor his violence. Far more importantly, I want the survivors to see we will support them during the long road to recovery. This was an attack on our people, and we all know that no true Viking backs down from such an assault.

In the past, Vikings rowed together. The Multnomah County Courthouse is a short walk from campus—a walk we can make together. I propose we embrace the tradition of the people for whom we are named and march together, a unified PSU Viking horde, to face the cretin who dared to threaten our people.

Let’s make everyone in this beautiful city see who we are as a campus community and how we respond to such acts of inhumanity. More importantly, let’s show our classmates they will not be alone through their healing journey. We will be with them, we will support them, we will hold them up and we will rally around any member of our community who faces adversity.

One of the many reasons I love PSU is the spirit of our university community. Though we are all very different people—people who sometimes disagree and have a hard time connecting—when we face adversity, we come together. We learn. We get stronger, and we try again. We come from all around the world with all of our different interests, talents, hardships and strengths, and we try again. After every challenge, we try again. After every disappointing grade, we try again.

Well, PSU, I say we try again! Let’s show up and show our injured classmates, their families, and the entire world that we are going to support them as they try again. Let’s show the perpetrator that his violence didn’t stop us. We are PSU Vikings. We row together, and we try again.

In solidarity and love,

B. Castra Nemici

Portland State Student