Students largely represent the Amherst community. Thus, in evaluating the response to the Rolling Green Fire, gauging student reactions is a necessity. Today on campus, I approached 10 random students outside of the DuBois Library to inquire about their knowledge surrounding the Rolling Green fire.
Of the ten students, while everybody knew that a university student had been killed and other university students had been displaced as a result of the fire, only one student knew somebody that had been directly affected. This student, Anne Blackney, knows a female student who lost all of her belongings, as far as Blackney was aware, and was displaced. Blackney however had no knowledge of the steps her acquaintance has taken in finding temporary shelter, nor the options that we, as UMass students, have to help contribute to those who were affected.
I asked each of the ten students where they first learned of the tragedy that occurred at Rolling Green. Three students responded that they learned about it through the mass email sent to the student body regarding the fatality that resulted; five students said they learned of the events through other students, and the remaining three students read about the events in the Daily Collegian.
The way in which students learned of the event are relevant because these will be the most affective ways for students to continue gaining knowledge on the fire and the consequences. Most of the students knew little about the situations of students who were affected just over two weeks ago, and their interest in the topic decreases daily. Thus, as a community we must continue drawing attention to the affects of this tragedy by word of mouth, as well as through media outlets such as the Daily Collegian to keep this story relevant and help those affected.