Sep 112011
Authors: Zeb carabello, Ben Koerselmn

The following stories ran in the Collegian on Sept. 12, 2001.

_Hear what the same people think 10 years later here . _

CSU political experts voice opinions

Still grappling with the shocking events Tuesday, several members of CSU’s Political Science Department tried to make sense of the tragedy.

“It was bound to happen sooner than later,” said Robert Lawrence, who teaches national security policy in the department, is a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer and an expert in national security and U.S. foreign policy.

“The scope of the attack is amazing though,” Lawrence said. “People in the national security business have known for 20 or 30 years if someone wanted to commit suicide, they could cause a lot of damage to our country. A missile defense system wouldn’t have stopped this.”

Lawrence said the attacks were most likely a political response to U.S. foreign policy.

“Some people may be inclined to turn to isolationism, but we need to be sure not to do this because that is most likely what the terrorist wanted,” he said. “The other thing I fear could happen is we go to a police state—where security becomes the cornerstone of our society. I think it is in all of our interests to avoid either of these scenarios and prove to perpetrators we are a great nation, and like all nations, we will not be intimidated or scared.”

An early example of a possibly changing foreign policy was highlighted when President Bush addressed the nation.

“The most interesting part of his speech was when Bush said there was not a difference between the people responsible for the attacks and those who harbor them,” Lawrence said. “This could change all military policy in the future.”

Members of the Political Science Department also stressed the U.S. needs to be careful when designating the attacks, and students need to treat all international students with respect.

“It would be hard to blame all of Afghanistan due to its very disjointed state,” said Professor Scott Moore. “There is practically no infrastructure there, and many language groupings.

We should try to avoid harassment toward groups of people that occurred during the Oklahoma City bombings.”

David Reese, who teaches international relations, agrees.

“I’m worried about reactions to the Muslim students here—many are already blaming these people,” Reese said. “This is why we try to educate students on world issues; we are seeing the world brought to CSU today. Educating yourself can help prevent some of these things, but at the same time there are just some bad people out there.”

Aside from concern about the treatment of Muslim students, the tactics used in the attacks is weighing heavily on the minds of many.

“It is just an interesting commentary on the history of warfare,” said Valerie J. Assetto, a political science professor. “One hundred years ago you didn’t attack civilians. World War II brought that upon us.”
Students shocked, angered by attacks*

An eerie silence fell over the Lory Student Center commons on Tuesday. An area normally bustling with activity, with students watching TV, studying and catching a quick bite to eat, instead saw students sitting in quiet contemplation as they watched the unfolding national crisis being reported on CNN and MSNBC.

The smallish crowd in the commons at 9:30 a.m. grew to more than 100 students by noon. A third television on a cart was added to the commons area sometime in the early afternoon to give more people the chance to see the news. Many of the students perused newspapers; some others attempted small talk; still others tried to work on homework, always with an eye on the television.

“This is so crazy, it’s like out of a movie… “Independence Day” or something,” said Brett LaTulipped, a sophomore psychology major, summing up the mood of the assembled students. “It’s hard to believe.”

It was a day that had been set aside for a show of university pride, where students and faculty were asked to show their school spirit by wearing green and gold, and CSU President Albert Yates was to deliver his fall address on the steps of the Administration Building. The event was to be followed by a university-wide picnic on the Oval.

The speech and picnic were cancelled, along with an open house event at the Office of International Programs. Classes were still held, but some professors turned students away. Some students decided not to attend at all. In some classrooms, where technology was unavailable, a news network was turned on to keep students informed, at least for the time between course periods and lectures.

“Today is a day that people will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Associated Students of CSU President Sean Mattox. “It is a defining moment.”

Many students were stunned.

Brandi Brodersen, a senior anthropology major, said, “It just blows my mind. It’s so much destruction that it’s just mindblowing.”
Mike Vanian, a senior natural resources major, shared his sentiment.

“I’m totally stunned,” he said. “I woke up this morning and caught it about 20 minutes after it happened. I haven’t gone to any classes today. This is on the level of Pearl Harbor. It’s just incredible. I saw people jumping from buildings. I’ve never seen anything like that on TV.” “It’s hard to even put into words,” said Bonnie Coberly, a senior studying journalism. “As the most affluent country in the world, we think we are immune to this kind of thing, but events like this open up our eyes to reality. This is the biggest tragedy that our country has experienced in terms of terrorism. I am still in a state of disbelief.”

Other students reacted with anger.

“I think this is a bunch of shit,” said John Boulden, a sophomore studying civil engineering. “It was a cowardly act by a bunch of people who can’t come out and fight straight up. It’s one thing to die by yourself, but to take a bunch of innocent people with you is just inexcusable.”

Still other students reacted with fear.

“I’m afraid to get in another world war, especially since I am an international student,” said Kelly Shin, a junior music major. “I might have to go back to Korea. I hope there is a peaceful way to solve this. It’s weird because we are living in history.”

“I’m kind of scared,” said Tim Springer, a junior studying construction management. “It’s been one of those (things) where I just go to class. You can’t just sit there and watch the news. That’s what the terrorists want: to shut down America.”
Some students used the moment for introspection.

“Reality hasn’t set in yet,” said Collin Bishop, a freshman majoring in business. “This is a wake-up call for us; it shows how fragile life is. It can end at anytime.”

Perhaps, though, the reaction of Trevor Wicken, a senior in pre-med, sums up best the sentiments of most students.

“I feel a combination of shock, anger and sadness,” he said. “I want to know how the hell they got those planes. I watched them take down the flag and put it at half-mast outside the Student Center. It’s eerie. I almost started crying.”

By 5 p.m. Tuesday, the gaggle of students watching televisions in the commons area of the LSC had mostly dissipated. Outside on the west lawn, students were riding bikes and playing disc golf; some were wading into the lagoon searching for lost discs.

Then, it had the appearance of a normal afternoon at CSU. But standing near the west doors of the LSC was a painful reminder of the day’s events: an American flag and a Colorado flag flying at half-mast.

Dean Heffron, Christin Nirschl, Shandra Jordan and Nicole Davis contributed to these stories. Feedback can be sent to

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