Release Date: April 19, 2007
Blacksburg, VA - In the spirit of solidarity, USINPAC Youth Committee met with Virginia Tech's Indian Student Association (ISA) President Ajitpal Singh Raina, ISA advisor Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan and other ISA representatives on Wednesday to offer support and comfort in the wake of Monday's horrific campus tragedy.
From left to right: Ajitpal Raina, Dr. Kumar Mallikarjunan,
Raj Verma, Nikhil Nair, Prof. Pushkin at the Inn at Virginia
Tech discussing the tragedy.
USINPAC Youth Committee President Raj Verma said: "On behalf of our members and Indians across America, we offer condolences for the departed souls, and pray that their families and friends find the strength to cope with their loss. We are here with you." USINPAC Youth Committee works on encouraging Indian Americans on campuses across the country to participate in the political process, and will now also engage with policy makers to commit increased investments in safety and communications in schools and universities.
ISA President Ajitpal Singh Raina said the students and the faculty were still in shock and that there was an overwhelming feeling of grief. He added that despite this tragedy, Virginia Tech continues to remain an excellent learning institution with an exceptional faculty and a fantastic student community.
Mr. Raina said: "We will mobilize community support for the families of the two Indian victims and also to other Indian students who may be demoralized." Dr. Mallikarjunan recalled his colleague Prof G V Loganathan, who died doing what he did bestÂ - impart the highest quality education. "He was a very distinguished teacher and a humble man," Dr Mallikarjunan said. "He was respected by both his students and his peers.. this is such a terrible loss to the university and community."
Mr. Raina recalled how Minal Panchal, a student of architecture and urban planning who was also killed on Monday, would actively participate in ISA's activities and events. "She was present and helpful at many of our events," he said.
Mr. Verma also addressed campus safety issues with the ISA Board and other faculty, emphasizing that USINPAC endorsed devoting increased resources to campus safety and supporting tactical strategies to bolster internal communications during emergencies. Mr. Verma said: "Our response to this tragedy should be multi-fold. Even as we tackle policy issues involving campus safety, students should also rigorously engage in tackling our 'culture of violence'."
To that end, USINPAC Youth Committee announced it will unveil a campus safety initiative that will task Indian students on campuses around the nation to promote increased safety measures through discussions with faculty, deans and college administrators. The effort will seek to produce a comprehensive report about safety precautions and preventative strategies against campus violence, including murder and sexual assault.
For more information, call Raj Verma on 1-202-628-3451 or email him at