Day of healing held at Purdue University after student’s murder
WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University hosted a ‘Day of Healing’ after a student was murdered on campus.
It has been more than a week since Andrew Boldt, 21, was stabbed and shot inside a classroom in the electrical engineering building. Authorities arrested Cody Cousins, 23, who was also a student.
“You can still tell even now there’s something not quite right. I feel like the impact from the whole event is kinda still with us,” Purdue student David Dattilo said.
David Dattilo and his friend, Rachel Like, participated in the ‘Day of Healing’. They spent more than 30 minutes at the France A. Cordova Recreational Sports Center with K-9’s. The university invited Indiana K-9 Assisted Crisis Response Teams. There were about 7 K-9’s and their handlers at the ‘Day of Healing’.
“I think this has helped me just from school as well and the events from last week. I think it made a difference for me,” Rachel Like said.
The K-9’s served as comfort dogs. They distracted students and allowed them to relax. The university provided counselors as well, if students needed someone to speak with about the tragedy that happened on campus.
“Things are kind of starting to settle down, but you’ve still got students dealing with the emotional impact of all of this,” K-9 Handler Julie Miller said.
The crisis team is called to respond around the state, if there is a disaster or traumatic event like what happened at Purdue University.
“It’s one of those things that is hard to describe, but if you see it it’s pretty obvious. There’s a lot more research showing how spending time around the dogs can lower blood pressure and lower heart rate and lower stress levels,” Miller said.
Miller noticed a difference in students -already- on Friday.
“It makes me feel extremely lucky at the other end of the leash, working with him (my K-9) because he is my best friend. And, so, just to know he can have that positive impact on people is amazing,” Miller said.
Besides interacting with K-9’s, students participated in a number of activities like cooking demonstrations and yoga classes.
“The pride I feel right now is just…it’s overwhelming. I always had school spirit before, but now you can really tell the school cares about its students and wants to do something for them -like to help them out. It’s just …I don’t think I can compare it to any other feeling i have,” Rachel Like said.
Cousins has been charged with murder. He is at the Tippecanoe County jail.