No one can deny GCU's ability to keep its students safe from the outside world. We have gates, guards, and required passes that prevent us from being victims of the world's outward demons.
This does not mean we are safe from the demons within.
I'm not sure if everyone has heard the news, but a few weekends ago there was an incident involving a student and the Grove parking garage. This is not the first case of a student incident involving GCU's parking garages, nor will it be the last. Even recently I have heard three peers reflect on the event with a sense of wonder and sympathy. Revealing that they all have had close calls involving the 4-story-tall cement car tenant.
Recently, I myself made my way to the top of the Halo garage, just adjacent to the Grove. I was going to watch the sunset for a homework assignment about light and nature. I was leaning against the innermost cement barrier, just a few sections away from where that student was. My roommate was there with me, and she continuously stated how easy it would have been to simply dive off. Too easy.
This petition is a call for safety precautions to be installed on all of the parking garages at this school. Whether that be unclimbable fences or safety nets is up to the powers that be. Now is not the time to be punishing those who already punish themselves, or to be naive about those inner demons we all face to some capacity. Now is the time to show we care, that we have seen those inner demons each of those students and my peers faced and are still facing.
We need to acknowledge that this is something that transpires more often than we might think. That we will not and cannot ignore those in pain, but instead will build them a place where they know we see their worth. Because as I stood on that roof, watching the sunset, I was struck with a sudden thought. God never wants our last moments on this earth to be full of turmoil. Full of hazy grief and palpable despair. He wants us to know his love. His wish is that this wonderful life that he has given us can be hard to live in, but is worth living. He wants us to look at the sunset and see the stars. To breathe air into our lungs without feeling like burdens or wastes of space. He wants us to know we are wanted. But we are all human.
We can't magically make people's pain go away. But maybe, with these safety precautions, we can start to show God's wish for our happiness. That we as a campus care about their decision right now at this very moment, because we care about them. Because if we continue to do nothing, say nothing, and see nothing we will never be able to save those who need us the most. We will never be able to help others and ourselves face those demons on the outside.