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The Northerner

NKU students react to terrorist attacks

Susan Bartels and Susan Bartels

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“Shock!” No other word was said more often by the students of Northern Kentucky University as reports spread across campus of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington D.C.

Students, faculty and staff stood glued to televisions , stunned by what was unfolding before their eyes. In a sociology class in the Natural Science Building, students gasped in disbelief as news videos replayed a 737 plane crashing into the World Trade Center and smoke bellowing from the Pentagon.

“I can’t imagine trying to get out of there”, said Katie Robbins, 20, a junior applied cultural science major. “I’m wondering if it’s going to happen to Cincinnati.”

On the second floor of the Landrum Academic Center, a political science class had stopped and students from a class next door had filtered in, all imersed in the television reports. Political science professor Dr. Adalberto Pinelo said it was obvious it was a well coordinated attack. “It’s shocking” he said, “I’m just horrified at the thought of one of those twin towers collapsing and the casualties.”

Downstairs in a newswriting class, instructor Felix Winternitz was keeping the students’ minds on the news by having them visit Web sites that pertained to the current situation. In the corner of the room, the television continued to keep everyone updated.

Elias Hajjar, 20, a junior journalism major, has a brother-in-law who works for a radio station across the street from the World Trade Center. He could hear his brother-in-law’s voice broadcasting on the television.

“I was afraid at first,” he said, “but hearing his voice makes me feel better.”

Hajjar, who has a Middle Eastern background, also stated he didn’t think he would suffer any backlash from other Americans in the event it was a Middle Eastern terrorist group.

“It doesn’t concern me,” he said.

In Nunn Hall, students gathered around the television in the third floor lounge. “It’s ironic,” said John Daniels, 30, senior law student. “A show a few days ago talked about an attack on the World Trade Center and how vulnerable they are.”

On the plaza, students stood in groups discussing the situation and their feelings. “Yes, it scares me”, said Donald Porter,18, freshman information systems major. ” It’s in our back yard.”

Jim Steers, 21, a junior political science major, said he didn’t think a war would start. “It’s just terrorism, there’s no country involved,” he said.

Safety was a concern for many students. They mentioned being near the international airport as well as General Electric and Proctor and Gamble.

International students Sonja Wickel from Hamburg, Germany and Otmar Hackl from Vienna, Austria said they feel safe. They didn’t understand why this area could be targeted.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
NKU students react to terrorist attacks