Campus comes together in time of tragedy


student in sproul

Tanya Lyon contemplates Tuesday’s events during a Sproul Plaza gathering.
D. Lyn Hunter photo

12 September 2001 | During good times and bad, the campus community usually gathers in Sproul Plaza.

And Tuesday was no exception as throngs of students, faculty and staff came together to process the terrorist attacks on the United States.

Chancellor Berdahl joined Horace Mitchell, vice chancellor for business and administrative services; Christina Maslach, vice provost for undergraduate education; and Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for undergraduate affairs, to confer with students and help them work through their grief. Behind the impromptu gatherings, campus flags flew at half-mast.

“We chose not to close the campus so that we as a community could come together and work through this,” Berdahl said. “If we close, where do we get support?”

Berdahl said even though the campus was open, it was “not business as usual.” Students were not required to go to class, and faculty and staff could be excused from work, he said.

In a spontaneous show of sympathy, one student, junior Tanya Lyon, came to Sproul Plaza and just sat down. Another student joined her with blank poster boards and markers.

They were quickly surrounded by dozens of passersby who put their thoughts to paper. Ending the violence, prayers for peace, and compassion for Arab Americans were among the sentiments shared.

Campus police officers were scattered throughout the plaza as part of heightened security measures. Berdahl said extra precautions were taken to ensure safety, such as closing the Campanile.


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