The Concordia community reacted
to the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon quickly,
and with full hearts.
Dean of Students Donald Boisvert acted quickly to respond to the possibility
of reprisals against students by making available counsellors and other
support. A special effort was made to reach out to Muslim women and to
others particularly affected.
From staff, there were offers of material assistance, including blood
transfusions, although it was soon determined that for various reasons,
notably the fact that there were few survivors, this kind of aid was not
However, an opportunity to donate to the New York firefighters and police,
who lost about 400 officers in the collapse of the buildings, was included
with the Shuffle fundraising drive, held last Friday.
About 125 people attended a commemorative service at the downtown Faculty
Club on Friday, Sept. 11, organized by Campus Ministry.
The speakers included the rector, full-time chaplains Peter Côté
and Rev. Ellie Hummel, volunteer associate chaplains Imam Salam Elmenyawi
and Manjit Singh, and student Josh Margo, from Concordia Hillel, who spoke
extemporaneously and with emotion. Chaplain Daryl Lynn Ross and the dean
of students gave readings, and solemn music was provided by Gary Russell
(cello) and James Chou (violin).
Concordias Public Relations Department had a steady stream of phone
calls after the disaster. Some were from frightened parents, and from
members of the public who had heard a false news item on CJAD that some
Concordia students were seen celebrating the attack.
The university acted fast to correct this mistake. Executive Director
of Communications Dennis Murphy went on air to point out that the report
had no foundation, and may have stemmed from orientation activities going
on around the downtown campus.
The media were calling the Public Relations Department, too, looking for
academic experts to comment on the attack and its implications. Christine
Mota said she got 37 media calls on Tuesday alone. She and her colleague
Evelyne Abitbol organized interviews for political scientists Henry Habib
and Norrin Ripsman, aviation management experts Dale Doreen and Mick Carney,
Islamic scholar Lynda Clarke, Adjunct Professor Rabbi Howard Joseph, and
historian John Hill, among others.
See also International
Students Office responds