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As Campus Stays Open, U. of Md. Students Express Shock, Fear Over Attacks

By Marie Beaudette
Capital News Service
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001
; Web-posted at 9:55 p.m.

COLLEGE PARK - Andrew Marino said he now understands what his grandfather was talking about when he told his stories of signing up to fight for the Marines in World War II.

The senior government and politics major was one of the many students at 
the University of Maryland, College Park, who was shocked and angered today by attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Like many Maryland students, Marino is from suburban New York City and is concerned for those he knew who could have been near the World Trade Center.

"We have a lot of friends that work at the trade center," he said. "I'm 
sure in the next week I'm going to hear of a lot of people from my town who were killed in this."

Maryland students said they had felt safe from a terrorist attack of this 
magnitude -- until today. "It didn't feel real," said Marino, a recent United Airlines employee who watched the World Trade Center towers collapse this morning on television. "I thought I was watching a movie."

Some campus students expressed concern that the campus stayed open while all other University System of Maryland institutions canceled classes. University officials said that it did not appear that the College Park campus was in imminent danger.

But many professors opted to cancel their classes, and University President C.D. Mote Jr. announced early this evening that classes would be canceled Wednesday for "a day of mourning and reflection for the campus."

That came a day too late for some students.

"I do believe school should have been closed," said senior art major 
Michael Roschuni. "I think we may be far enough away that we are out of harm's way, as President Mote said, but we are all emotionally affected by this 
horrible tragedy. I think not enough work could have been accomplished with this on everyone's minds."

Sarah Hale, a sophomore economics and government and politics major, 
helped organize prayer vigils with the Maryland Christian Fellowship and the 
Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at the campus for the victims of the attacks 
and their families.

"People are scared and understandably confused by what happened," she 
said. "We [the vigil organizers] ultimately think that God is in control even in 
the midst of the attacks."

The Hillel Center for Jewish Life at the university also held a prayer 
vigil thisevening, and the university's Memorial Chapel expected to remain open until 11 p.m.

Sarit Weisburd, a sophomore letters and sciences major from Israel, went 
to her classes this afternoon even though many other students chose not to.
She said people often ask her how she could live in a place as torn with violence and terrorism as Israel, but in light of the attacks, she said Americans must realize "extreme acts of terrorist that are happening there could happen anywhere."

But for Marino, it was still hard to believe it had happened here.

"I'm pretty angry," he said. "It's kind of this feeling of disbelief, and the fact that these two buildings have disappeared is scary."

Copyright 2001 University of Maryland College of Journalism


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