Expression walls help students observe Day of Prayer
Monday September 17, 2001
Dorms to keep walls, quiet rooms available indefinitely
Friday, a day dedicated to remembrance of the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks, students displayed their emotions on self-expression walls in UA residence halls.
"I don't feel safe," one student wrote.
Another questioned, "How could this happen?"
One simply read, "All those people."
Sentiments like these, expressed by students across campus, reflect an atmosphere that inspired students to use words like "disbelief" and "puzzled" to describe their emotional states after the attacks.
The walls were established last week in all residence halls, along with media areas and quiet rooms, "to give students a chance to come together and process the events (of the attack)," said William Evans, residence hall director for Kaibab-Huachuca Residence Hall.
Evans said that while the media areas and quiet rooms were popular with students during the 24 hours following the attack, they have since been gathering in small groups in their rooms to watch news coverage.
"We have been encouraging resident assistants to go door-to-door to talk to students about (the attack)," he said.
Patrick Call, associate director for Residential Education, said student response to the media and quiet areas will determine how long residence halls provide the spaces.
"At this point, we're just playing it by ear," Call said. "As more details and information unfold, we'll see how people react."
He said the areas will remain open as long as students use them. The self-expression walls will also be left up indefinitely.
"This is an event that will take time for people to process," Evans said. "In a month, I'm sure (the wall) will still be there."
He said he thinks the posters are helpful to both the students who write comments and those who read them. He called the students' inscriptions "respectful and encouraging."
However, students living in the residence halls also expressed fear and uncertainty on the walls.
"What is going to happen to the economic situation in the country?" wondered one.
"I hope hatred toward Arabs does not increase because of this," wrote another.
Some remarks written by students centered on American reprisal for Tuesday's attacks. "The time for diplomacy has passed," read one entry. "Now it's time to get even!"
However, the majority of comments condemned all violence.
"You can't kill hate with hate," read one.
"An eye for an eye only leads to blindness," said another.