Volume 95, Issue 7

Wednesday, September 12, 2001
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Students react with shock and fear

Professors warn of American revenge

London Scrambles

Students react with shock and fear

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

For many Western students, the terrorist attacks that hit the United States yesterday also hit home.

In the University Community Centre, students congregated around television sets to watch live broadcasts of the events. Many feared for family members living and working in areas where the attacks took place.

Michael Masci, a fourth-year sociology student, created a vigil of candles and Canadian and American flags on the concrete beach out of concern for victims in New York City. "[The vigil] is to the memory of all those lost, injured or forgotten," he said.

Masci said the whereabouts of his godfather, who works in the World Trade Centre in New York, is currently unknown. He said he also had cousins trapped in a nearby building.

Fifth-year honours political science student Jonathon Wong said soon after he learned of planes crashing into the World Trade Centre, he realized family members might be in the building.

"The most excruciating time was waiting for the phone to ring, not knowing if my aunt was in the building or not," he said. "I ran inside the UCC and saw the Trade Centre collapsing."

Wong lost consciousness on the concrete beach and was caught by a friend before hitting the ground. He said he had felt overcome by the day's events.

"[The Student Emergency Response Team] gave me oxygen, and tried to help out – they did a very good job," he said.

Shortly after regaining consciousness, Wong received word that his family members were accounted for.

"It was like a tonne of bricks off my shoulder," he said. "I still feel sorry for the other people on campus going through the same thing," he added.

Sukh Virdee, a third-year computer science student, said he had been watching television reports in the UCC from 10 a.m. into the early afternoon.

"I have a friend who works next to the World Trade Centre building that I can't get a hold of," he said.

Third-year social science student Sarah Meyanathan said she has family in Washington D.C. and her father works on the same street as the White House.

"It hit close to home," she said.

She added the attacks seemed as if they were out of a Tom Clancy novel.
Beth Kerim/Gazette
HORROR. Second-year student Victor Kwan, like many, crowded around televisions to catch a glimpse of the calamity that befell the US.

Other students watching the events were concerned about how the United States will respond to the attacks.

"Whoever claims responsibility for this is really going to get it," said Robert Yu, a fourth-year psychology student.

"Everyone should pray for the people in New York right now – it's all we can do," he added.

Third-year computer science student James Park compared the incident to a movie, "like Armageddon."

Paula Zack, a fourth-year English student, said the event shows the U.S. is not invincible and can never be prepared for this sort of attack.

"As soon as I saw this, I was like, 'Hello, welcome to World War III.'"

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Copyright The Gazette 2001