Supporting one another

Throughout my years as a journalist for the Torch, I’ve reported on a number of stories involving Ferris State University students. However, no stories are more saddening than those involving the death of an FSU student.

They’re stories that impact the lives of families, friends and members of the FSU community.

In August 2011, the Torch reported on the death of FSU criminal justice alumnus James Ryan McCandless. McCandless was killed Aug. 2, 2011 after a suspect opened fire after a routine traffic stop.

Still, in the event of tragedy a supportive community can help make a positive difference in the lives of many. James and Kathy McCandless, parents of Ryan, have chosen to make a difference in the lives of FSU criminal justice students with the Ryan McCandless Memorial Endowment Scholarship.

As a college community that has undergone the loss of a number of students over the years, it’s meaningful to see we still have a willingness to support one another in times of need.

The deaths of FSU students such as Demia Davis, Tierra Gainey and Erik Williams have all shown the commitment of fellow students to step forward and support our community.

The Demia Davis Memorial Fund, Ryan McCandless Memorial Endowment Scholarship and candle light vigils held for students such as Gainey have all been campus-supported opportunities to honor the lives of our students.

It’s the decisions we make in times of tragedy that dictate the futures we create for ourselves. Through the actions of students and Big Rapids community members, FSU has created a bond stronger than its mission of academics.

The impact of our past humanitarianism has shown that our actions outside the classroom can be more meaningful to our lives than the actions in it.

For FSU students like McCandless, our efforts to support one another mean the continuation of the service McCandless dedicated his life to.