Yesterday around 2 pm, a financial aid colleague, Greg Elsenrath, was shot in his office by a disgruntled student. I was following the events yesterday as best as I could, and I didn't want to post anything until I knew more.
The student was known at the school, and he made his way up to the 4th floor where Greg's office is. The student then shot Greg once. The student soon shot himself. Apparently, the student was upset that his financial aid was cut off, which sounds to me that he'd reached his lifetime eligibility limit, which is nothing in Greg's control. But the student snapped and took it out on Greg.
Last report was that Greg was rushed to surgery and made it through doing well. He is expected to make a recovery. SIBA, Stevens Institute for Business and the Arts, will be closed until next Tuesday.
As part of the financial aid community, you don't expect such things to happen. Greg is a colleague of mine. We go to conferences twice a year and meet up in the peer group session as well as other conference activities. When I told someone last night about it they asked when was the last time you talked to him. I remembered to November at the last conference. There was a peer group session, but he and I were the only two in the session. So we talked for about a half hour. One of the topics was campus safety/security. Irony has a strange way of playing with one's mind sometimes.
So, as we move forward from random school shootings of students and faculty, to targeted shootings of students and faculty, to now targeted shootings of specific administrators, we should remember to be ever-watching of the students that we serve. Our jobs are to help students afford and pay for their education, but we should not forget that sometimes students may not understand FA situations and may take out their frustrations.
I hope that Greg makes a fast recovery. Keep him and your family in your thoughts!