Seattle Pacific student, Centennial High grad: Not here. No way.


SEATTLE - Not here. No way.

When there is a lockdown on the Seattle Pacific campus, it is usually because a homeless guy whistled at a passer-by, or maybe someone threatened the nearby 7-11.

But a deadly school shooting?

Not here. No way.

It is the last week before final exams. I left campus around 3 p.m. and drove to my house, about 10 minutes away. Thirty minutes later, my housemate came running upstairs in a panic - "there's been a shooting at SPU."

Not here. No way.

SPU prides itself on its community. It is the main message promoted to prospective students and is heavily echoed by the current students. There's always been a special thing going here. When tragedies happened elsewhere, we were thankful to be a part of this community.

Not here. No way.

My housemates and I watched the live coverage on the local news. We called our families to let them know we were safe. We closely followed the Twitter feed from our friends in lockdown. A texting chain emerged among all of the students - "You safe?"

It is weird to watch something on TV in front of you, and hear the sirens roar behind you.

Not here. No way.

An hour later, the lockdown was lifted, and I immediately drove to campus to be around everyone I love. As I neared campus, it felt much more real. The sidewalk that I walked on two hours earlier was closed off - the cement stained in blood. I drove up to the residence hall where I lived the previous two years. My old floormates huddled together on the balcony in prayer.

Not here. No way.

The next few hours were full of hugs, tears and updates. Seemingly, the whole school ate together at tables more crammed than usual in the cafeteria. We all migrated to a vigil at a church across the street from campus. Together, we processed and prayed.

It happened here.

We continue to hug and pray. There has yet to be any attack toward the shooter in conversation or on social media. We don't care about his name. To us, his name is evil.

Two major digital trends occurred Thursday. First, #prayforSPU. It is an appropriate hashtag for a community that is centered on the Christian faith. Second, #denythefame.

We are not going to let his name tower above our student who has passed away. Our faith is too strong and our community is too strong to let that happen. We are not going to give the shooter the attention he doesn't deserve.

Not here. No way.

Danny Ciaccio is a junior journalism major at Seattle Pacific. He was a varsity tennis player at Centennial High in Boise and was the sports intern at the Idaho Statesman in the summer of 2012. He serves as the sports editor for the student newspaper at SPU, interns at ROOT SPORTS and is a PR assistant for the Seattle Sounders soccer team.

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