Column: One lost Husky impacts the entire pack

My heart sinks every time I hear about a Northeastern student’s death. Any untimely death provokes feelings of sadness and unfairness – even if I never knew them personally.
Over the winter break Northeastern lost another member of its community. Scott Herr, an 18-year-old freshman engineering major, died in a car crash in Elma, N.Y. Despite the loss, I feel that in many little ways it brings the community closer.
The News posted a story on its website, and for the first time, there were no nasty comments in the message boards. There were no nonsensical comments. They were all appropriate ‘- something which is hard to say for all the other stories. Also, President Joseph Aoun sent out an e-mail to the Northeastern community explaining the accident and offering his condolences to Herr’s family. While a mass e-mail may not change anything, it’s an appropriate and respectful gesture.
In these difficult times, through these little acts of politeness, it makes me proud to be a part of the Northeastern community.
Unfortunately, throughout my five years at Northeastern, there have been a number of tragedies in which students lost their lives. To name a few, in 2007, Adrienne’ ‘AJ’ Devino a member of the Resident Student Association died in a ski accident in New Hampshire. A few days later, Jake Freeman died after a fall down stairs. In 2008, Rebecca Payne was murdered in her Mission Hill apartment ‘- a crime that remains unsolved. With as big a population as Northeastern, unfortunate events are to be expected. It’s only natural – it’s part of life. It doesn’t make it easier, though.
At The News, we’re usually some of the first people to hear about an accident. From there we go on to report on it. Having to write an obituary for Freeman was one of the most difficult things I had to do. Talking to his friends, his PIKE brothers and his mother was extremely challenging. Obituaries celebrate a life, and the one thing all Northeastern students’ obituaries had in common was how much they loved being at Northeastern.
The other day I was talking with some friends about how Northeastern lacks the type of school pride universities like Boston College or Ohio State have. Yeah, we may not have high attendance at sporting events, or fight songs every student knows, but I’m going to argue that Northeastern has a sense of community just as much as other universities.
Ask any Northeastern student and I think it’s safe to say the majority of them will talk about their positive experiences here. Yeah we’ll all complain about a long list of things, like the NU shuffle, but at the end of the day, we’ve got it pretty good here.
I unfortunately never had the opportunity to meet AJ, Becca, Jake or Scott. Even so, I’m happy knowing we all have something in common.

– Mary Ann Georgantopoulos can be reached at

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