Facing our community tragedy


graphic by Tyler Herron

We face a number of challenges during our time at Trinity. We face the task of balancing a rigorous academic courseload and a complex social ecosystem. We face the tough transition from adolescence to adulthood. Sometimes, in moments of true challenge, we must face tragedy. We are in the midst of one of those challenges.

Early Wednesday morning, university president Danny Anderson sent a campus-wide email informing the Trinity community of sophomore Cayley Mandadi’s death. In the email, Anderson addressed the lack of details available about Mandadi’s death. He urged students to “find ways to honor her life and find meaning and purpose in her passing.”

It’s times like these when we recognize the Trinity University’s truly tight-knit nature. Chances are, even if you didn’t know Cayley, you know someone who did. The situation before us is difficult. On the one hand, we all must shoulder a terrible emotional burden; on the other hand, we have the opportunity to come together and share that weight.

In the coming days, as information and details surrounding this tragic situation emerge, it will become more enticing to chase gossip and rumors, to question those closest with Cayley for any detail, no matter how small.

We understand this desire for information — we empathize with you. We all want answers. As members of the press, we have an obligation to pursue those answers while remaining respectful and sensitive to the wishes and concerns of our grieving friends.

It’s stressful and difficult to not yet have answers. But we can’t succumb to rumors and panic. Questions will linger, but with the help of the administration and TUPD, the truth will emerge.

In the meantime, we must cope with Cayley’s death. We don’t expect healing to come easily. No one could immediately heal from such a sudden passing. Healing will take hard work for a long while, both for individuals and the community at large.

We must come together as a university to support one another. As we gathered information about Cayley’s passing, student government president Nick Santulli offered a wise suggestion to this end.

“I would recommend just trying to do a kind thing,” he told us. “Every day, just remember to have empathy and kindness as you go about your day.”

At a school as small as Trinity, the death of a fellow student isn’t just felt in the classroom. It’s felt in student organizations, residence halls, and in the shared silences between grieving friends.

Talk to the people you love and be there when words fail. Please, take time to remind your loved ones of how much they mean to you.