March 15, 2008

NIU Ombuds Reflects on Campus Tragedy

One month after the shootings at Northern Illinois University, Tim Griffin, the campus Ombuds, says that his phones are starting to ring again with “normal” issues. Still, he wears the symbol of sympathy for NIU, a red and black ribbon. “I never wore such a thing in my life until 2-14,” said Griffin. “For me, it represents a show of respect to so many people for so many things. I will hold that respect forever, but someday — soon I think — I won’t feel the need to wear this.” (Rockford Register Star.)

In addition to helping organizations and communities avoid problems, Ombuds can be critical in helping individuals cope with the stress and conflicts that follow tragedy. After 9/11 for example, Ombuds around the U.S. helped visitors deal with personal anxiety, cultural misunderstanding, and uncertainty. NIU is certainly fortunate to have Griffin, an experienced and compassionate Ombuds, as a resource during its recovery.

Related post: Profile of Northern Illinois University Ombuds.

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