When tragedy strikes and a member of the Bobcat family passes away, the Texas State community needs to do more to commemorate the lives of students, faculty and staff members. While university officials host an annual ceremony for the deceased called Bobcat Pause, there are several other commemorative events that could be held at any time with relative simplicity. Bobcats owe it to each other to take the time to properly honor those who pass away.
Several Bobcats have already passed away this year with little recognition by the university. The fact that the student body and university as a whole have not done much to honor them is disappointing. When university officials fail to publicly recognize fallen students in a timely fashion, it can be interpreted as uncaring. Small acts of honor can make a large difference to the friends, family and classmates of fallen Bobcats, assuring them their loved ones will be forever missed by the campus community.
Bobcat Pause is an extremely well-planned, thoughtful and touching event put on by the university, but it is likely too large and expensive of a ceremony to host more than once a year. Unfortunately, an annual event simply is not enough. However, things done at the ceremony—friends and family giving speeches, memorials for those lost, musical tributes—can be easily performed throughout the year. Students would most likely be willing to attend if the university orchestrated and organized more events. Memorials are a crucial part of the grieving process, allowing those left behind to reflect and express their feelings.
At Texas A&M, a monthly candlelight vigil known as Silver Taps is held in honor of fallen students or faculty members. This is a very inexpensive and simple ceremony that could be easily replicated at Texas State to commemorate lives. All it would require of a student would be a candle and the willingness to reflect on the person who has died by gathering at a meaningful location like the Stallions. If a school as large as A&M can orchestrate such an event, so can Texas State. Such a ceremony would be meaningful and welcomed by the family and friends of the deceased, and, as a whole, would be a great display of how tight-knit the campus is.
Another incredibly simple but effective method of commemoration that could be observed at Texas State is a moment of silence, as well as flying on-campus flags at half-staff. Particularly at large functions such as athletic events and theatre productions, a call for a moment of reflection would greatly resonate with most patrons.
There are dozens of simple, respectful ways to honor Bobcats who have passed away, and the university needs to implement more events to commemorate them. The community deserves more outlets in which to remember the lives of their Texas State family members.