Remembering loved ones lost - and our responsibility to keep our friends safe

Monday, September 30, 2013

A year ago, the Appalachian Family lost one of our very own, Tyler Blalock, on September 29, 2012. You have seen the flowers, the candles and the pictures placed beside a tree in Durham Park. Today, I reflect today the impact Tyler’s death has had on so many, from his friends who honor his memory with candles, pictures and flowers to his mother, Lynn, who visited Durham Park all last year. Alcohol can have - and has had - an effect on our individual stories and experiences, as well as our campus.

In memory of Tyler and all those who have lost their lives due to alcohol-related incidents, our campus will plant 1,825 flags in Durham Park to raise awareness about the dangers of high-risk drinking among college students. The flags represent the annual number of deaths on college campuses due to alcohol-related causes, and will be displayed from Sunday, September 29 through Wednesday, October 2.

While we are remembering our friends and loved ones we have lost, please also let this be another reminder to take care of one other, look out for one other and when you see something… say something. You don't have to have all the answers. Visit our wellness center website for additional information about alcohol, how to help a friend, and more.

We all play a role in the safety of everyone in our community. Remember: It’s Up To Me. It's up to you. It's up to us.

Your Dean of Students,