Editorial Board

Community should take time to reflect on the death of Britny Kabic

In this past week, the campus community has witnessed Syracuse University being ranked as a top tier research institution, the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves and the announcement of President Barack Obama as the keynote speaker at an SU event in Washington, D.C. next month.

But the university community also experienced the passing of one of our own.

Britny Kabic, a sophomore advertising major in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, died Friday night inside Walnut Hall. The Department of Public Safety and the Syracuse Police Department have made clear that the incident is not of a criminal nature and that there is no threat to the public.

If there is anything that can be gained from Kabic’s death, it should be the sentiment that those enrolled at Syracuse University should always come before the institution itself — a notion that has the potential to be clouded by the heightened recognition of SU’s recent accomplishments.

While it is important to acknowledge these advancements and the ways in which they will prove transformative for the university moving forward, it is integral to our humanity as one university that each student, staff and faculty member take a step back, reflect and pay tribute to Kabic as the embodiment of a rounded and engaged Syracuse University student: an Orange fan, sorority sister and our classmate.

The faces of students are sometimes eclipsed by the image of the university. While the university is not to blame, it is imperative to have a shared understanding that as much progress as the school makes as an academic institution, it is also home to more than 20,000 students.

SU may be gaining traction on a national basis, but it must be maintained within the campus atmosphere that these honors cannot outweigh Kabic’s death at this time.

Like many of us, Britny Kabic shared an online photo of her acceptance letter to Syracuse University in December 2013 with the caption expressing that she had never been happier in her life. And like all of us, her life should not be quickly mourned and easily forgotten.

There will be a time to celebrate the successes of the past week as a collective university body, but it is important that we remain respectfully conscious of the fact that the time is not now.

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