This is a blog post by Brenna Kowall, one of the social media interns. This post was inspired by the recent events that shook our OU family this past Sunday night. Please continue to show your support to #23Palmer.
My favorite part of Ohio University is not the nightlife. Or spring quarter. Or favorite teachers or classes. It is not the nights we won’t remember with the people we will never forget. It is not Court Street or College Green. It is being a Bobcat. Ask yourself what being a Bobcat means to you and I’m sure you will agree with me why it is my favorite part of Ohio University.
Being a Bobcat is a title I will carry with me for the rest of my life. For me, being a Bobcat does not just mean being a student at Ohio University. It means I am a part of a community. A family. It means acting with compassion and respect in everything I do. It means being a friend to anyone who needs one. It means being a shoulder to lean on. Through the smallest days to the events that change our lives forever, my identity as a Bobcat becomes stronger each day here.
As word spread over the Internet about the devastating event at 23 Palmer this past Sunday, my heart ached for the Bobcat family. Steve Meno’s life ended too soon and he left behind a community of loving friends, students, and teachers. It did not come as a surprise to me when I saw the overwhelming amount of support for 23 Palmer from all over the community. Newsfeeds and timelines on Facebook and Twitter were filled with Bobcats pouring their hearts out and offering prayers and support for Meno’s friends and family. There was barely any post or tweet that did not end with #prayersfor23palmer. I then realized how powerful our Bobcat community is. That night, our identities grew stronger than ever before.
Bobby Whalen, a junior at Ohio University was Meno’s friend and roommate at 23 Palmer. I cannot even imagine the pain Bobby is feeling right now. But I know that the community is helping him get through this. I asked Bobby to share his thoughts on our Bobcat family and the support that has been shown to him.
“During a time of such a horrific tragedy, the amount of support we have received from the students and faculty here at Ohio University has been truly inspiring. Word tends to travel fast here, as within a few hours after the incident people started sending thoughts and prayers our way. As more and more people found out, the prayers kept on coming. During the worst night of our lives we had comfort in knowing that everyone here was supporting us and praying for us. As hard as losing such a good friend is, the support from everyone here made it easier. Searching Twitter is what helped me get through the night. Knowing so many people were thinking about us was extremely comforting. We lost an amazing person. However, never have I been prouder to call myself a Bobcat. Bobcat nation is such a strong group of people and with the support of everyone we will get through this together.”
We may not know every OU student but we are all far from being strangers. We are all in this together, through the good times and the bad times. From the laughter to the tears.
To those of you are graduating and about to embark on the next chapter in your life- never leave behind your Bobcat identity. Carry it with you through all your ups and downs you are sure to face in your future. Knowing the true meaning of being a Bobcat will guide you for the rest of your life.
To those of us who are still finishing our chapter at OU- keep this family strong and powerful. The possibilities we hold as a family are endless. OU would be nothing if it were not for our pride and love for each other and this school.
Thank you, Bobcats, for once again showing me the power of family, community, prayer, and the Bobcat Nation. I will never forget this.
We encourage you to seek help and counseling if needed. Please call Counseling and Psychological Services at 740-593-1616.