Degrading TSU

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We are all aware of the unfortunate shooting at Tennessee State University in which two female students and a young man were shot, culminating in the death of the young man who was not a student at the university. Shootings at educational institutions seems to be on the upswing, and there is an urgency to offer better security measures to protect students and staff at all educational facilities in this country.

The reality of the times manifested itself at TSU, and carte blanche measures are being applied to protect the university from revisiting such a horrendous situation. TSU like any other institution may have been a little lax, never thinking that something of this magnitude could ever happen there. But hindsight is 100% and the university is using this as a learning experience, going forward, implementing policies and measures to offer better protection and security to the campus.

This will require changes presently being made by the university’s president, security staff, students and community alike. While this was local, state, and national news, many people feel that some media has used it to exploit the creditability of TSU and its students. This heinous scenario has occurred many times throughout the nation, educating everyone of the need to be more vigil and aware of the sickness of some people and the need to upgrade security measures. We know that all institutions can work better to offer better protection and security to the people they serve. However, lets realize that although we can deter or minimize shootings at these institutions, we cannot guarantee they won’t happen again. That’s just a fact.

It seems that some media here in Nashville have dwelled on this unfortunate event to belittle and attack the university and the students personally. While the university and the students are trying to use this as a learning experience to go forward, some media and some agitators have used this shooting as a platform to belittle the university and the students as a whole. Reporting of previous college shootings has never questioned the credibility or the type of people attending the university in a negative light. Using this time to vilify or demonize the university can be viewed as personally attacking TSU as a predominantly Black university. Some local news stations have continuously sought any negative feedback from anybody in the Black community. Local media has even ridden around the campus trying to find things to complain about before security measures affecting changes could be fully implemented. This is fine if they spend the same amount of time exploring the shortcomings in other area colleges and universities.

Let’s be frank. The Black community is proud of TSU and takes it personally when TSU’s integrity is attacked. The students are second to none when compared to students in other colleges and universities. TSU is proud of its involvement in producing productive and successful graduates that can be found working and contributing to any occupation in this country or globally. Trying to belittle or smear TSU is not acceptable in the Big Blue Community. The predominately Black community sees TSU as a beacon of light and hope and are aware of the true significance of this historic university.

Don’t come to TSU trying to define or tell them who they are. They know who they are, and while they may not be able to stop haters from hating, they ask that the media be veritable in their reporting. The shooting shouldn’t and doesn’t define the students at the university. While TSU may have problems like all other institutions, don’t use this unfortunate horrendous shooting to trivialize their students or the greatness of the institution.