Just two days after mourners flooded campus in remembrance of Jamail Johnson, who was killed in an off-campus shooting one year ago, YSU alumna Stacey Sutera was also shot and killed. This time the shooting occurred far from campus outside her Canfield residence.
Last week, another one of our own was hospitalized under still undetermined circumstances. He remained in critical condition for most of the weekend. The university said the incident also happened off campus.
The proximity to campus isn’t the most worrisome element in each of these incidents.
They’re all Penguins, and that bothers us.
In a town of 60,000, we grieve more than most. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Gov. John Kasich stormed into town after Johnson’s death last year, promising not “the moon,” but “something” he could do to help.
Then Mayor Jay Williams decried that Johnson’s life could “not be lost in vain.”
Vanity is synonymous with arrogance, a not-so-distant cousin of apathy. And apathy has fueled fear of the criminal element in this town for some time now.
But not here.
“Youngstown State University is an oasis of safety,” YSU President Cynthia Anderson said following Kasich’s visit.
We don’t doubt that campus is safe. But our students and alumni don’t all live on campus.
Until the local government prioritizes violent crime and the governor comes through on his promises, we fear the criminal perception of Youngstown will forever shadow the safety of our university.