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Responds to Tuesday's Tragedy
After news of terrorist attacks shocked the country on Tuesday, September 11,
Lewis-Clark State College officials gathered quickly to address concerns for student,
faculty and staff well-being. With President Dene Kay Thomas unable to return from Boise,
a team of administrators, staff and faculty met immediately to discuss the college's
response to the terrorist attacks.
A decision was made to maintain as much normalcy in campus operations as possible.
Accordingly, classes continued as scheduled. However, recognizing the magnitude of the
tragedy and its potential to affect many in the LCSC community, officials encouraged
employees to be especially sensitive to the needs of students.
Provost and Academic Vice President, Rita Morris stated, "Our first priority is the
well-being of our students and we encourage faculty to be supportive of those students who
may have difficulty fulfilling class requirements this week." She also asked campus
personnel to contact the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs if they became
aware of students who might need assistance of any kind.
On Wednesday morning following the attack, representatives of the Associated Student Body
began selling red, white and blue ribbons at the Student Union Building, pledging the
proceeds to support the American Red Cross. More than $1500 dollars was ultimately
presented to the humanitarian organization. Later in the day, President Thomas joined
students, faculty and staff walking to Lewiston's Pioneer Park, where a community memorial
and prayer service was scheduled.
The same evening, LCSC faculty members, Dr. Richard Moore, Dr. Marilyn Levine and Dr. Alan
Marshall spoke at the Williams Conference on terrorism and social issues. At 9:00 p.m. the
Associated Students hosted a non-denominational candlelight vigil outside historic
Talkington Hall. Dr. Thomas closed the vigil by reminding everyone of the strength of the
human spirit and the examples of nobility shining through the darkness of the attacks, and
asking everyone to pull together for the future good of all people.
The college observed the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on Friday, allowing
employees and students time to attend services of their choice. Classes and other
activities will continue at regularly scheduled time next week.
LCSC prides itself on serving a diverse student population and expects to be especially
sensitive to the needs of its multi-cultural students. A number of services will be
available to assure their safety and comfort in the community.
Speaking on the college's action regarding student well-being, President Thomas said,
"We are deeply proud of our diverse, multicultural community and, regardless of
ethnic or national origin, we stand together in our grief for victims and concern for
survivors. We are committed to the safety and security of every person, and reaffirm our
respect for everyone who is part of the Lewis-Clark State College family and this great
Students and concerned family members may contact the Vice President for Student Affairs
(208/792-2218), or the Office of Student Life (208/792-2211) for information or access to
counseling services. Students with young children may wish to view suggestions from the
international organization, Psychologists for Social Responsibility published below.
Psychologists for Social Responsibility: Response to Terrorist Attacks on US
Psychologists for Social Responsibility has been contacted by the media
for help with how best to respond to the day's appalling events. Our hearts go out to
those have lost their lives, their loved ones, and the families and friends who will now
have to face the difficult grieving process.
We condemn the use of violence against civilians and resolve to continue our work to
address the many issues that often lead to the outbreak of such violence.
Many people are experiencing shock, fear, anxiety, rage, sadness, an increased sense of
vulnerability, and other powerful feelings, all of which make it very difficult for we
to think and to problem-solve effectively. At this point it is important to acknowledge
how much we don't know. We need to avoid jumping to conclusions that may be erroneous.
qualified and highly trained people are already working to find out what happened and who
the perpetrators are. We need to give the professionals a chance to do their work.
We have been asked specifically about what to tell children. Children of different ages
need different levels of information. Here are some general guidelines for young children:
1) Check with your children to see how they feel. Children often experience these events
as concrete and profoundly personal and emotional, and wonder if harm would happen to
them. Adults can help by lacing the event in perspective.
2) Keeping things as routine as possible for children is very helpful to their feelings of
security, so whenever possible, provide them with regular children's activities.
3) Children may respond to the anxieties felt and expressed by their caregivers. Talk with
them about their feelings. Tell them in simple language how you are feeling about the
incident. Reassure them that you are watching out for them.
4) Shield children from in-depth discussion of how the adults feel about these events
(specifically the recounting of traumatic stories that create vivid images in one's mind's
eye and vengeful fantasies of retaliation).
5) Limit the amount of time children spend watching coverage of the attacks. Do not let
them watch television coverage of these disastrous events by themselves. They need your
presence and perspective.
6) What we do is often as important as what we say. Pay attention to your reactions
because children will take their cues from you. Children often see far more than adults
are aware of.