Special Issue: A message from Robert M. Berdahl & Wally Adeyemo
‘We must unite as a campus and send out a message of peace’


Berdahl, Adeyemo, students

Chancellor Berdahl and ASUC President Wally Adeyemo visit Sproul.
Peg Skorpinski photo

20 September 2001 | Our nation faced a great tragedy last week that touched many lives throughout America and the Berkeley campus. Many lives were lost in these terrible acts. Undoubtedly, this will leave a lasting imprint in the rest of our lives and in nation’s history.

Many students and staff members have family and friends who live and work in the cities attacked, and they, unfortunately, may have been hurt. The university is working with the ASUC to provide help to students and the campus community to cope with the calamitous situation.

We encourage students to discuss their feelings with each other and professors, both inside and outside of class. The campus will remain open and functional, but not just to conduct business as usual. Along with discussions, we must be prudent not to put blame on any individuals or groups in our campus community. We must unite as a campus in such turbulent times, and send out a common message, a message of peace.

The campus is providing many services to help cope with this troubling situation. We ask you to do your part and help contribute to the healing process. Let us unite and show our support and grievances to the victims and families, and support each other as we deal with these difficult times.

We believe we have reason to be very proud of how our campus community has responded to the tragic events in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Spontaneous events sprang up across the campus shortly after the news broke. One student said she couldn't bear to see people going on with their lives as if nothing had happened, so she sat down in Sproul Plaza. She was joined by another student who produced paper and posterboards on which passersby were invited to share their thoughts and feelings about the tragedy.

Throughout the day, many stopped, read the comments of others, and added their own. Their observations contain much that is wise, eloquent, and moving.

On Tuesday evening, students organized a candlelight vigil held on Sproul Plaza. Graduate students in computer science developed a web site that people can use to search for friends and relatives who may have been victims of the attacks. Class meetings and symposia have discussed the events and their aftermath; students in residence halls and co-ops have also organized focused and sustained conversations.

These have been unbelievably difficult and unprecedented days for our nation. Difficult times lie ahead as the country deals with the effects of these heinous attacks.

Let us continue as we have begun, with compassion, understanding and peaceful discourse. Let us each bear ourselves in a manner of which we will always remain proud. Let us remember that peace and justice can come only from a determination to seek peace and to act justly. Let us exemplify our motto: Fiat lux!


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