Special Issue: Teach-ins, Remembrances Temporarily Replace Everyday Life
Attacks spawn week of diverse discussions


Memorial wall

A wall of remembrance is erected at the Berkeley Art Museum.
Sean Boyd

20 September 2001 | Though students, faculty and staff were stunned by the events of last Tuesday, it didn’t take long for the campus community to kick into gear and take action.

From a massive candlelight vigil on Sproul Plaza to the construction of a memory wall, events and expressions emerged to assist victims, honor those who died, reflect on the tragedy and learn about its possible roots and implications for the future.

The campus community paused at noon on Friday, the national day of mourning, to observe a moment of silence while Sather Tower’s carrillon rang a somber tune.

At noon on Monday, Sept. 17, the campus comes together for a memorial service for victims on Memorial Glade, north of Doe Library. Classes have been suspended from noon until 2 p.m. to allow students, faculty and staff to attend.

At the request of departmental personnel managers, a wall was erected at the Berkeley Art Museum as a place to post remembrances, thoughts and condolences. The 100-foot stretch of cyclone fencing is situated near the “Hawk for Peace” sculpture on Bancroft Avenue, by artist Alexander Calder.

In addition to such remembrances and tributes, the campus responded with what it does best—teaching and fostering discussion to help students, staff, and faculty understand the tragedy, what led to it, and what it means for the future. Several departments hosted such discussions.

On the day of the attack, Lee Friedman, professor of public policy, canceled his economics class and instead invited students to an impromptu forum led by Michael Nacht, dean of public policy, on that morning’s events.

“A lot of students are just confused by all of this,” said Terry Marsden, a junior majoring in political science. “They just wanted to talk about it.”

The Graduate School of Journalism and the Goldman School of Public Policy sponsored a dialogue on global anger Wednesday. Scholars discussed possible causes for the attacks, likely responses by the Bush administration and possible restrictions on domestic civil liberties as efforts are made to tighten security nationally.

“This was a huge failure on the part of our intelligence agencies,” said Journalism Professor Mark Danner. But most Americans “would not be willing to put up with” the kind of restrictions the CIA and FBI would need to prevent this kind of attack, he said.

The College of Environmental Design held a special forum Thursday titled “Culture, Humanity and Design: Questions in the Wake of the World Trade Center Attacks.” The event focused on the use of buildings as targets, designing to avert disaster and the implications of such new concerns for the architectural community.

The Haas School of Business hosted a barbecue dinner in its courtyard Friday, raising money for Red Cross relief funds for victims of the attacks.

A teach-in on non-violence will be held at 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, in Wheeler Auditorium. The program includes Michael Nagler, emeritus professor of classics, and Rabbi Michael Lerner.

Administrative, auxiliary and student support units also did their part.

The Office of Student Life, using names and phone numbers provided by the registrar’s office, called students who may have been affected by the tragedy to offer support.

Campus blood donors flocked to the Red Cross blood donation center on Claremont Avenue, and appointment slots scheduled this week by the Tang Center filled up almost as soon as they were announced. Staff in Physical Plant Campus Services quickly organized a blood drive in the unit. When told that blood supplies were stable for now, but more would be needed in the near future, the group arranged for a drive to be held on-site at 2000 Carleton St. in early October.

Cal Corps, a campus public service center, is coordinating a collection for the United Way’s recently created “September 11th” fund. Bins for monetary donations will be set up in 505 Eshleman Hall and 102 Sproul Hall.

On the student front, a group of Berkeley sorority women will sell white ribbons, as a symbol of national tragedy, on Sproul Plaza beginning Monday and throughout the week. Money raised will go to the Red Cross. The ASUC is also staffing a 24-hour hotline for students who need information and support.


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