On campus Tuesday, in the SGA offices in the Student Union building, Samantha Zwerling, a 21-year-old junior studying environmental science and policy, said, "Obviously we're really shocked and I think the campus community is really shocked."
Zwerling, the student government president from Flemington, N.J., who also spoke at the vigil, added, "There have been a lot of crime alerts since the beginning of this semester. We've seen a reduction in crime recently at College Park. ... This is upsetting. Whether they're related or not, it's culminating into something."
College Park officials said they send out alerts as required by federal law. "If a crime occurs on-campus or at surrounding areas off-campus, we alert the UMD community," according to a spokeswoman.
About noon Tuesday, nearly 12 hours after the shootings, sophomore Madison Groenings, 19, a communications major from Weston, Conn., said the only email alert she had received was at 1:16 a.m. It said there was a reported shooting off campus. Upon learning that the incident involved three students, Groenings said, "I'm surprised I hadn't gotten any of that info. As a student, that's kind of scary."
Junior Madison Higgins, 21, is the administrator of the university's help center, a service and hotline run by undergraduates trained in crisis management. "Anyone can call if they need to talk about anything. We also have walk-in counseling."
Some on campus said the stress of school work could play a role in more students becoming distraught.
Sociology sophomore Alante Fitzgerald, 19, of Suitland said the campus "can be very stressful — students stressing over [grade point average], whether they're going to graduate on time."
Loh said the university has "significantly increased" the number of psychologists and other mental health professionals it keeps on staff particularly because more students are expressing a need for their services.
Baltimore Sun reporters Jessica Anderson and Alison Matas contributed to this article.