After the unfortunate murder/suicide that left Sam Houston State University student Rachel Pendray and Houstonian Jake Taylor dead, the campus atmosphere has changed drastically. Taylor shot and killed Pendray in her apartment and then killed himself. Pendray was a pre-nursing major and a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and a cheerleader on the all-girls cheer squad. Students across campus are mourning the loss of one of our own.
“She was one of the best people I’ve ever known. She was going to apply to nursing school. I’ve lived with her for almost two years now. She was just a great person,” Robin Roche, a sorority sister and roommate of Pendray, said. “I think there’s a picture of her on the front door of the Zeta house. She was a double legacy in Zeta. I think she had close to a 4.0 GPA,” Roche said.
This event has some students questioning their own safety and reflecting on life. Even those who did not know Pendray are saddened by the news.
“It’s kind of creepy since I live in the apartments next door…I find myself jumping at loud noises. I didn’t know her, but it is very sad and makes you appreciate life more,” senior Stephanie Stadler said. Since she was a Zeta and a cheerleader, I’m sure she knew a lot of people. I’m sure everyone is very upset.”
“I think it’s important for people to take the seriousness of life, said senior Taylor Eckstrom said. The students are really sad to hear the news. It’s really a time for prayer.”
This tragedy will not be forgotten easily. Shock is registering with everyone, and many students are too upset to attend classes.
“I just think you can’t tell who you can trust,” student Rachel Carmichael said. “You think that this kind of stuff happens at bigger schools. The fact that it happened here makes me scared. It makes me think, ‘Oh my God. I can’t trust anyone,'”
A candlelight vigil service will be held tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.