ARCATA- It was a somber day on the campus of Humboldt State University after news of the fatal bus crash that killed ten spread across campus Friday. The students in the accident were headed to the university's Spring Preview, an event that gives prospective students a chance to tour the university before they enroll.
The event went on, as 900 prospective students and their parents toured the campus. Students and faculty members said the day is normally one of the most cheerful days as new students visit the campus.
Tour guides said they showed visitors around while carrying a heavy heart. "It definitely has more of a somber feel about it," said Dylan Carol, a student tour guide.
Carol said all the guides had agreed on one mantra, 'Today is for them.' "We are doing this for those students for those family members," he said.
"Our hearts are broken for the families, friends who's lives were lost in this tragedy and those that were hurt," said Peg Blake, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs.
She said many faculty and staff members had worked through the night answering phone calls and providing information to parents.
As new visitor's walked around campus, current students, like Noah Kossel, thought about the students that were not there. "I just think it's a shame these kids were coming to see the college and they never got to see the college."
The bus tour was one of several that brought up many low income and first generation students to the university. A program that had been in place for years. Blake said the opportunity gives students a chance to visit the campus who otherwise would not be able to afford the trip.
Thursday night, University President Rollin Richmond, traveled to Glenn County where the accident occurred. Richmond visited with survivors and family members as they were in the hospital.
"What we wanted to do is make it clear to them that Humboldt State University is a place that cares about students and we wanted to do everything that we could do to whatever we could for their families to get past this tragic accident," he said.
Richmond said the university will find ways so that the students could still visit the university.