Chesney Klubert oral history interview, 2020 June 11
Chesney Klubert, personnel specialist at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte, reflects on her personal experiences on and following April 30, 2019, when a gunman opened fire on a class of students on campus. Ms. Klubert had left campus early on that day and she describes her shock, grave concern, and strong compulsion to connect with colleagues and friends to establish their safety and also for mutual support. She notes her personal need to digest the news as it emerged through official and unofficial channels during the evening of the shootings and beyond, and how she felt driven to listen empathetically to others describing their experiences. Ms. Klubert relays narratives of her colleagues' experiences anonymously. She notes the cathartic but also emotionally exhausting effect of both recalling and listening to traumatic stories, and her sense of responsibility for engaging in this way at a time when people were experiencing the immediate effects of the trauma and structures of emotional support were not yet in place for staff and faculty. Ms. Klubert describes her visceral reaction to the Kennedy building where the shooting took place, a feeling that did not shift until school started in the fall of 2019 with the return of student activity. She also describes how following the shooting she became hypervigilant in public spaces. She remarks on what she felt was an unprecedented outpouring of support following the shooting from the broader Charlotte community, and the different impacts that the event had on campus groups. Ms. Klubert concludes the interview with reflections on how she would like to see April 30 and the tragic loss of lives on that day commemorated in the Belk Plaza adjacent to the Kennedy building.