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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Q&A; | Graham-Greenlee resident Shivanna Johnson

    Arizona Daily Wildcat reporter Ethan Williams sat down with Shivanna Johnson, a veterinary science sophomore and Graham-Greenlee resident since 2007.

    When the First Year Scholars program, a Native American program, moved from Graham-Greenlee to Kaibab-Huachuca following last year’s slaying, most Graham-Greenlee residents in the program went with it, but Johnson stayed.

    Johnson shared how she and other residents dealt with last year’s slaying and the events that ensued.

    Wildcat: I understand you were in Graham-Greenlee last year?

    Johnson: Yes, last year.

    W: And you were a freshman at the time?

    J: Yes, I was.

    W: You’re still there?

    J: Yeah, I’m still in Graham-Greenlee.

    W: So why did you stay?

    J: I think just to get a feel of living in a place that’s different from a place that feels more home-like. Because last year with the First Year Scholars program, it was all Native students. So it felt like home, seeing familiar faces, being around people who have the same or similar background as you. And I wanted to see what it would be like to be away from that and to see if I would like it.

    W: Were you part of the First Year Scholars program?

    J: Yes.

    W: (The program) moved (to Kaibab-Huachuca) – why didn’t you move with them?

    J: I like the location of Graham-Greenlee on campus. And plus, I’m not part of that program this year.

    W: Were you given the choice to move if you wanted to?

    J: Yeah, I was

    W: So, where were you exactly last year when (the stabbing) happened?

    J: I was in the dorm. I was on the third floor.

    W: Do you understand why the program just moved out (of Graham-Greenlee)?

    J: I think personally that they didn’t want the new students to feel maybe uncomfortable living in the same dorms. Give them a new place, a new start, without having to think, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re living in this dorm.’

    W: Did they tell you why they were moving?

    J: No they didn’t, not really. They just said they were moving over to Kaibab. I heard about the move towards the end of the semester.

    W: What was your reaction (to the stabbing) then at the time?

    J: It was a shock. It was very surprising. Something that you would expect to never happen so close to you.

    W: And how’s your reaction now?

    J: It’s still a real, unbelievable event that happened, but things have gotten a lot better. And it’s really unfortunate. I think Native Americans in general were signaled out at the time. I guess it was kind of a new stereotype that came out.

    W: Did the program offer anything like counseling?

    J: After the incident, yeah.

    W: How did your friends feel about it?

    J: We talked about a little bit. Everyone was pretty surprised.

    W: So they didn’t close the floor – they closed the room, right?

    J: Yeah.

    W: Was it kind of eerie walking past it sometimes?

    J: Yeah, I would say just a little – for me, just a little.

    W: How do you feel about the move?

    J: I think it was a good decision. Because I know some kids may be more sensitive than others to the fact that a tragedy happened here last year. Some may not feel that comfortable coming into the same dorm – just to make everyone comfortable and help the transition and not give them extra worries.

    W: Did your parents, or your community back home, say anything?

    J: My parents called that day just to check up on me and see if I was OK and if I needed anything.

    W: How did they feel about you staying there?

    J: Right after the incident, they were wondering if I wanted to stay here in the dorm for the rest of the week and if I felt comfortable.

    W: Did they offer to put you in a motel room maybe?

    J: No. NASA (Native American Student Affairs) offered alternative places to sleep after the incident, because some students were very uncomfortable staying in the dorms.

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