Template talk:Virginia Tech shooting

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If you are here then you noticed the template. This is based off of the template {{Sep11}} and is intended to group articles related to this topic. --StuffOfInterest 14:03, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I was ;pplong at this page to look for the names of the Va. tech victims.
I am so sorry that every website I have seen has the shooters name listed as a victim.
I also note that there is MORE information oon "the shooter" than any victim.
I am doing research on the media's acknow;edhement of chool shooters as the highlited person of any incident.
They even portray them as "heroes."
But yje victims are only mentioned after, the killers life history is featured. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:09, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

'Notable' victims?[edit]

Why do some victims get more attention than the others? I see the three notable victims are professors, but what about the students? The fair thing would be either to list all of the victims or none. That's just my two cents of course. I agree. I think this very 'notoriety' is probably what set Cho off in the first place. contribs).

If you look at the AfD entries for the student articles, they will likely all be deleted very soon. It is only the notable entries, such as those who meet WP:PROF, which are likely to last. --StuffOfInterest 14:27, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I like the box and think it is fine as is, but could somebody link to similar tragedy boxes to better illustrate that this a more standard sort of thing? MCalamari 14:31, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think this box will be ultimately be necessary, once the main page matures and gets better laid out, but we'll see Epson291 15:09, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Though I support retaining the template itself, I question the inclusion of this section of the template no matter what you call it, or the template's inclusion in this or any of the other bio articles of otherwise notable people who died in the shootings. Within the bio articles, it is unbalancing, placing far too much emphasis on the manner of their deaths, as if the rest of their lives was a mere footnote to their deaths -- very tasteless, too. The fact that they died in the shootings is already included in those articles, & Wikipedia users interested in the bios of otherwise notable victims can find these articles by way of the List of victims article, where they are all wikilinked. --Yksin 18:06, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The victims part needs to go. There were 32 victims. Listing only those deemed notable by Wikipedia is inherently POV and misleading. --Elliskev 12:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Map image[edit]

I'd like to propose dropping the map image out of this template. It just takes up more space than justified. --StuffOfInterest 16:15, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Il' support that, if more articles are added. For now, removing it will make the temp rather tiny --TheFEARgod (Ч) 16:35, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
see also: Template:Katrina, Template:2004 tsunami--TheFEARgod (Ч) 16:38, 19 April 2007 (UTC), so the size doesn't matter --TheFEARgod (Ч) 16:38, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
I can see it either way. My concern right now is that the image takes up almost as much vertical space as all the text content. Also, that particular graphic was one of the complaint items at TfD. Guess we'll see what develops. --StuffOfInterest 16:41, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


I will try not to turn this into a revert war, but i don't think her link she but kept. Given that the template itself is already under question... adding links to articles who are probable for deletion seems foolish. -- Jimmi Hugh 19:49, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

That was my reasoning for not putting her in in the first place, but someone else chose to. When the link goes red, it will only take a second to drop back out so I'm not concerned either way. --StuffOfInterest 19:55, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
But the link won't go red. It will be redirected and stay blue... The correct action, which has already been done, is to take out the victim names altogether. With redirects, you could have them all there, but that would be misleading as some would redirect to anchors back in the parent article, rather than separate articles. Just the main articles should appear on the template, as in this version. Carcharoth 16:31, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

"Media Inaccuracy"[edit]

In my opinion, that link should be changed from "Media Inaccuracy" to "Inaccurate Reports". At first glance, the term "Media Inaccuracy" suggests that the media as a whole has been inaccurate, whereas the article itself is more of a review of inaccurate reports. --Bletch 12:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Slight tweak should have dealt with that - it now reads "Media inacuracies". Carcharoth 14:07, 21 April 2007 (UTC)


I'm not sure why this irks so many people, but I do think that it needs to be reformatted.

Instead of the extant design, I think it needs to be a non-intrustive navbox at the bottom, such as:

The sidebar style is usually reserved for huge topics, like Quantum mechanics or Esperanto. I think a navbox that lies low, like the Beethoven one above, would attract fewer deletionist agendas. ALTON .ıl 03:06, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I tend to like this design. I've never been overly sure the template needs a map included. Something like this would take up about the least amount of vertical scroll space. --StuffOfInterest 11:17, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Why I dislike the navbox - a parable[edit]

As one with both a deletionist agenda and a horrifying, secret love for crufty navboxes, I can tell you exactly why the Virginia Tech massacre navbox irks people. There is a feeling that, once the excitement of the chase wears thin and Wikipedians start treating this subject like encyclopediasts rather than scoop-hungry journalists, the "story" will collapse into two articles: one on the perpetrator, one on the act perpetrated (see Marc Lépine and the École Polytechnique massacre for a foreshadowing of the eventual intellectual fate of Seung-Hui Cho and the last, desperate act of his terminal frustration with his fellow human beings).
Two articles, plus a link to the institution where the dastardly act occurred (Lépine merits one whole sentence at the end of the article for the École Polytechnique de Montréal) would hardly justify a navigational template. It would simply be seen as a self-indulgent and unjustifiable waste of space whose function could have been easily handled by in-article links, and that assessment would probably be right.
The present form of the navbox is not really the problem. A map plus categories of links is not necessarily inappropriate in all contexts if it's done right. Here is a navbox I put together for University of California-related articles a week or two ago:
Note the use of a map and several categories of links. However, all of the links have some sort of permanence as to their Wikipedian notability that one honestly can't say is possessed by a lot of the satellite articles that spin wildly about the Virginia Tech massacre. Also, the map in the UC navbox is actually useful in figuring out where a lot of the links' widely-distributed subjects are physically located. The VT-massacre template's map, on the other hand, points out one precise location (if you can really call a big, red dot covering 150 square miles or so of Virginian countryside "precise") that most news junkies already know by heart and which, if a reader is unfamiliar with Virginian geography, is just one click away in the Blacksburg, Virginia, article.
If you truly want to put together a navbox with lasting significance and which won't be continually rubbished by self-righteous deletionists, I would not bother with one specifically dedicated to the VT massacre. Instead, I would put together a box on school shootings, shooting sprees, or some other categorized topic that really does have enough stable articles to justify creating a navbox and can sustain demand for one. My 2¢, plus a quarter or two. --Dynaflow 04:18, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I hope none of those comments were made with any cutting sarcasm. I certainly meant no offense on your behalf, and I apologize if you received my comment in that manner. Furthermore, I am neither endorsing nor expunging this template (see struck comment). But as it were, there is no consensus either way, and it will most likely stay. If it survives, I think it would serve a great function for this event only because it is a hot event that many readers looking for centralized content would want to know about. I, personally, don't consider this a critical issue, but you definitely should reiterate that argument on a more visible page.

On a brief digression, I solicit your excellent template skills for determining whether {{UCLA}} should be redone. It seems to me slightly larger and less picturesque than the others, which are solely your creations. ALTON .ıl 04:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

No sarcasm was meant; I am entirely serious on why I dislike the very idea of a VT-massacre template. See my comment towards the bottom of UCLA's Talk page for why I haven't redone that one yet. --Dynaflow 04:50, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Victim article redux[edit]

Now that the TfD has ended, how about readressing the inclusion of victim articles? It seems pretty much a conclusion that any student articles will go, but several of the professor articles have already survived AfD. The biggeset debate ongoing right now seems to be over non-professor teachers. If we can find an appropriate title to use, such as "Victims (with articles)", should these article links be included in the template? --StuffOfInterest 11:21, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Nikki Giovanni and Lucinda Roy[edit]

I'm very confused as to the implication of these individuals' involvement in the massacre. Both Giovanni and Roy taught Cho, the perpetrator, and Giovanni spoke at the ceremony. Both are highly regarded English faculty members at VT. However, they are neither victims nor perpetrators. Categorizing them under "people" amongst victims and the individual who committed the crime seems highly out of place; it implies that they had a larger part to play other than doing their jobs, speaking to the media after the incident, and giving a speech. I suggest they be removed from the template, or be classified under a different section. "People" is far too broad. María (habla conmigo) 01:29, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi, your comment was left in the wrong place. The template you are commenting on is actually Template talk:Virginia Tech massacre 1. Unfortunately, that template was pointing to this talk page for a while. --StuffOfInterest 12:29, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Thanks for informing me. :) María (habla conmigo) 13:55, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Rekindle of 'Notable' Victims Discussion[edit]

I state this not as a member of the VT community, as I am not, nor did I personally know any of the victims, though I do know people who did know victims.

I don't have any issue with the box linking to victims who have Wiki pages. Nor do I think every victim meets the requirements of having his/her own article. However, I strongly believe that using the term 'Notable Victims' is wrong. To those of us who frequent Wikipedia, it makes perfect sense. 'Notable' is a term commonly used within the community to describe something as being article-worthy. However, take a step outside of the Wikipedia community, and read it as an individual without any familiarity to the project's policies & terms may read it. To only state that "These 5 people are the notable victims" comes off as saying "These 5 people who died meant something, these others were not really noteworthy". Yes, if you read the entire article, you know that no one of the lives lost was any less tragic than another.

Is Emily Hilsher not notable?

Did Ryan Clark not ever make a difference in someones life?

How about Matt La Porte?

Or Erin Peterson?

What did Leslie Sherman not do to make her loss of less note than anyone else?

What makes those 5 randomly selected names "Not Notable"? No, they don't have the notability for their own Wikipedia Article. But in this template, 5 individuals are prominently elevated as being "Notable".

The box is useful, and the 5 links should remain. However, I simply urge for a simple change in title to something that would not be found offensive to someone who isn't familiar with Wikipedia's terminology, because I guarantee you there's plenty of people connected to these "Non-notable" victims that feel they are every bit as notable as any of the others.Coastalsteve984 (talk) 22:47, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Do you have an alternative proposal besides just "Victims", which makes it sound like every single victim should be listed? --Cybercobra (talk) 23:08, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I made one suggestion which was reverted, "Victims with Wikipedia Articles" - I recognize this is a bit long, but it didn't widen the box too much. Perhaps do a "Victims with [br] Wikipedia Articles"... I'm open to suggestions as well. Coastalsteve984 (talk) 17:14, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Suggestion: User:Coastalsteve984/VTTest Possible solution? Coastalsteve984 (talk) 17:23, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I find that unacceptable per Wikipedia:Avoid self-references. --Cybercobra (talk) 19:45, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, fair enough. Can't say I agree with the rule in this case but there's alot of rules I don't agree with, hah! How about a suggestion? Do you disagree with my reasoning or just don't care enough to offer something up? I'm thinking something maybe involving the word "Selected" ... or maybe trying to find a way to put all 32 names in, with these ones with articles being larger with links and the rest being smaller and not linked. Or how about just "Individual Victim Articles" ... I'm trying to think of something but suggestions would be welcome and appreciated. Coastalsteve984 (talk) 02:23, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
I just don't care enough. "Selected" would work IMO. --Cybercobra (talk) 02:43, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
"Selected" will make the reader wonder what selection criteria were applied.  --Lambiam 01:45, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────What about Instructors Killed? The people on the list are precisely the victims who were instructors (most of whom, by the way, are not notable by dint of WP:PROF, unlike what is suggested above).  --Lambiam 01:46, 26 April 2012 (UTC)


I have removed the "victims" links citing WP:NOTAMEMORIAL as well as WP:UNDUE. While the shooting is a tragedy in every sense, Wikipedia is not the place to memorialize any one person or group of people. I do not believe that this template should exist, but will not contest it if its used as an informational/academic device to point Readers at other related articles. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) 16:08, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

And I will revert you again. The template's usefulness is lessened by your removals; its primary purpose is to provide links to other, related articles. WP:NOTAMEMORIAL specifically prohibits creating memorials that don't have related articles; these are links to related articles, not a list of victims. Removing the links to the articles about the victims that have them is counterproductive, at best. You've reduced the template to three links, hardly useful. The discussion above isn't ambiguous about having the links, only what to name them. You are proposing a controversial edit; the onus is on you to get consensus to make it. The template has already survived one deletion attempt, by the way.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 17:11, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Update: I've changed the template to emphasize its function as a link to related articles. Only articles containing the template are listed, just as in other navboxes. No "identifiers"—such as "Victims", or "Perpetrator"—are included. I kept the piped versions of the article names for the Media Coverage and Timeline, as the actual article names are so long they would require two lines or widen the box unnecessarily. As an aside, I went through the articles yesterday that were using the box and removed it from those where it didn't belong, notably Lucinda Roy and Charles Steger.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 17:34, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

The Navbox lists main articles and also links to the Category for the main article, its hardly non-useful. The Sept 11 vertical template that it was copied from was deleted in favor of a horizontal template, so perhaps we should follow suit. Obviously there are people who wish added emphasis be placed on this event, but Wikipedia is not the place to do it or memorialize the victims. Please do not add back the links for individuals, these people are already mentioned in the main article. Any additional emphasis is WP:UNDUE and violates WP:NOTAMEMORIAL. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) 16:36, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Deletion of links to other articles[edit]

Scalhotrod Contrary to your edit summary for your most recent reversion, any contested edit requires discussion and/or consensus (see WP:Consensus). My position is that your interpretation of the policy is incorrect, therefore, the edit is incorrect. That makes it controversial, requiring discussion and consensus. Your edits have reverted previous consensus to include links to the articles in an attempt to create a new consensus to delete those links. It is, therefore, your responsibility to seek consensus. Please stop deleting the links. There is very little point in having the template if it can't function as the navbox it was designed to be. Please seek consensus (perhaps even an WP:RFC) before making any further changes. Thank you.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 16:45, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Please think about this for a moment: What Wikipedia policy would prohibit including links to existing articles in a navbox? WP:Undue is primarily concerned with article text; a mere link to an existing article hardly qualifies.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 16:56, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Your interpretation of policy makes nothing controversial, its your personal interpretation of the content and subject matter that does that. Whether its agreed upon by other neutral parties remains to be seen. As for its function, are you claiming that it has some purpose other than to be informational when you say "function as the navbox it was designed to be"? As for an RfC, I welcome it. You seem to lack detachment from this subject and would appreciate additional neutral comment. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) 16:57, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Additionally, WP:Memorial is concerned with creating articles for non-notable people who have died. Since the articles exist, they do not violate WP:Memorial, nor do links to them. As I have said numerous times, if you feel more consensus is needed, it is up to you to obtain it.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 17:01, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
My comment about functioning as the "navbox it was designed to be" was to emphasize that navboxes function as a collection of links to related articles. My objection is to your removing valid links to related articles. I don't see the template as having any other function. As for detachment, I'm trying to rescue a valid template from being rendered less useful; it has nothing to do with the topic or any other aspect of the template.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 17:10, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Picking apart my comments make them no less poignant. You are asserting that these people should be included in a Navbox that is to highlight a "series of articles on the Virginia Tech massacre" because they are notable, but your logic conflicts with itself. They are notable in their own right and thus have their own articles, that makes their relation to the shooting coincidental unless you are asserting that the creation of their articles (and Notability) was because they are shooting victims? Which is it? The only logical way they should be included in the Navbox is if the intention behind their articles was to further explain or note some aspect of the incident, but none of the articles do that. Their Wikilinks in the body of the article should suffice, but you choose to highlight these people in a special template, why? --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) 19:46, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you have a different definition of "poignant" than I do. You also are interpreting WP:Undue in a new and different way; that requires consensus. (You again used it as a reason for your removal of the links to specific articles at Virginia Tech massacre; however, what you replaced the links with was an improvement. Having the links there didn't violate WP:Undue.) The logic behind including the articles in the navbox is that the massacre was an event; the listed articles all are connected to the event. The articles for people are for victims of, or participants in, the event itself. There's nothing contradictory about my logic.(Update for most recent edit.) I have added Goddard's article to the list of links; he is an injured survivor, therefore, a participant. Again, the logic I'm employing doesn't warrant including Lucinda Roy or Charles Steger in the links, nor should this template be on their article pages. (It isn't currently.) Thanks!—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 19:20, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
First, here is how I understand WP:UNDUE
  • "Undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements." If you think this do not apply to Navboxes, then I'm ready to make a formal accusation of you trying to WP:GAMING game the system and subvert the intention of WP:NOTAMEMORIAL.
Here's how I am applying WP:UNDUE
  • First off, you've placed the links to individuals above the links to informational articles, Media and the Timeline. In fact you switched the placement giving the victim names more prominence over the original version [1].
  • Second, the "victims" label has been taken away so that the perpetrator is listed equally with the victims. I had changed the linked to read a generic "perpetrator", but you have switched it back to specifically his name without explanation or context in the Navbox.
  • Third, the sheer existence of this template gives "extra quantity of text" and "prominence of placement" for specific victims and the perpetrator in the article.
The logic I am applying does not include ANY names because they are already linked in the body of the article and mentioned in their proper context. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) 21:13, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I took the "victims" label away to reduce the links to articles about people and articles about the event overall—I felt that was a more balanced approach, in keeping with WP:NPOV.
  • The links are in alphabetical order; the articles about people happened to fall before the Media coverage and Timeline articles. I don't particularly care if the order is reversed, with the articles about individuals coming after the other two; I think alphabetical order for the articles about people is the best way to list them.
  • If you feel that the template needs subheadings to separate the articles, I could see using "Killed", "Injured", and "Perpetrator" as subheads, with perhaps "Additional information" for the other two articles.
  • I think that having a link that says "Perpetrator" flies in the face of proper encyclopedic usage; he has a name; he is not solely a perpetrator of a horrendous crime, just as the other people listed are not solely survivors or victims.
  • I still think you're applying WP:Undue differently than it is intended to be applied. It is specifically speaking about article text in terms of quantity of text, etc., so, yes, I don't feel it's appropriate to apply it to navboxes in general. If it were a different kind of navbox that needed to include links to articles with opposing points of view, then WP:Undue would apply. (A navbox linking articles dealing with opposite sides of an issue such as gun control/gun rights, for example.) It's not that kind of navbox; there aren't opposing points of view being explained in the linked articles.
  • Further, I'm not at all clear as to how providing links to related articles gives anything undue weight. What, exactly, is being disproportionately mentioned? Articles link to related articles all the time in Wikipedia; in fact, it's encouraged, and without links to other articles, the articles are considered "orphans". What is it about these links that upsets you so? You seem to be fine with the links being in the article text (or maybe even a "See also" section); why does a navbox create such a problem? What point of view, exactly, is given "undue weight" by use of the navbox? That is the crux of WP:Undue—giving one point of view more weight than another, opposite point of view. We're not dealing with opposing points of view here; the policy isn't applicable.
  • Omitting the articles about people and only including the two informational articles rather defeats the purpose of having a navbox to provide quick access to related articles. Yes, they could be linked in the text. Yes, they could be listed in the "See also" section of each article. Having a navbox makes it much easier to ensure that all the relevant links are in all the related articles, instead of editing nine different articles and adding eight or nine articles to a "See also" section in each.
  • As for your "formal accusation", I'm not gaming anything; I still don't see how WP:Memorial applies. Again, that policy is written with regard to article text and creating articles about non-notable people who have died.
I think you should initiate an RFC for further comments from other sources; I think we've both said about as much as we can say.—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 12:13, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Fair enough, based on what you stated above, it seems that a new deletion discussion should be started. And if you believe that the Navbox solves a potential orphan issue with the targeted articles, then perhaps a deletion discussion needs to be revisited for those articles as well. --Scalhotrod - Just your average banjo playing, drag racing, cowboy... (Talk) 18:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

I wasn't referring to the linked articles when I spoke of orphans; it was a general comment. I also think a deletion discussion is premature; there's a big difference between a deletion discussion and an RFC. Please visit RFC and follow the instructions to create an RFC for the template. Thanks!—D'Ranged 1 VTalk 09:50, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Template:Virginia Tech massacreTemplate:Virginia Tech shooting – The article has been renamed; this template, the navbar, and the category should also be renamed (talk) 08:17, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Support per the consensus found at the parent article.--Yaksar (let's chat) 22:51, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Support I see no reason why the article and the template should be at different titles and since there was a recent consensus at the article talkpage to use shooting over massacre it should be the template moved to match the article.-- (talk) 21:34, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Moved as requested. Dekimasuよ! 16:13, 24 October 2014 (UTC)