Roseburg, OR — For the first time since the deadly mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, students will return to class Monday.
The campus re-opened on Oct. 5 to students and staff after a gunman killed nine people and injured many others before taking his own life on Oct. 1.
However, while the campus was open again, classes were canceled for the week.
Now, after President Obama visited Roseburg to meet with the families of the victims and following multiple memorial services in the community, students and staff will return to classes at UCC.
On Sunday, several students walked around campus and talked to counselors. Snyder Hall, the scene of the shooting, will remain closed.
Freshman Hannah Miles said the shooting will not define her time at UCC.
“It’s getting easier, you know, easier to smile and laugh and talk with my friends,” she said. “I guess that’s the beginning of the healing process.”
Miles spoke to FOX 12 immediately after the shooting. She was in a writing class at Snyder Hall, one wall away from where the gunman opened fire.
“Everybody kind of stopped before we did anything, just kind of stopped and stared at the door. Because to me and I guess to us, that was the door between life and death,” she said.
Miles said certain sounds, like the slamming of a car door or a plane overhead, trigger an emotional reaction that puts her right back at the scene of the shooting.
However, she said going back to UCC is very important to her and so many others. She said returning to campus is like going back home.
“If I didn’t go back, I feel like I would be defeated somehow, that the evil man that set out to do all of this and cause all of this hurt and pain, I feel like he would be winning,” she said.