The City University of New York Sponsors Activities for Grieving and Counseling In Wake of World Trade Center Disaster

September 13, 2001 | The University

The Colleges of The City University of New York are sponsoring activities for grieving and counseling on campuses throughout the city in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy earlier this week.

“Students, faculty and staff have organized blood drives, donation collections, memorial services, community volunteer programs, counseling services and panel discussions,” said University Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “As a University, we should serve as an important resource as the larger society we live in copes with the horrible tragedies of terrorism.”

Following are brief summaries of activities on the campuses (this announcement is intended to assist others in their thinking and planning):

Hunter College will hold a series of events on Friday, September 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the President’s Conference Room. Faculty and counselors will meet with small clusters of students and offer individual counseling. Planned discussion topics include donating blood. A memorial space where students can bring photos and other remembrances is being established, and easels will be provided in the hallways for the College community to express their feelings in writing and post photographs. At 2 p.m., a larger gathering will be held in the student cafeteria with representatives of earlier sessions leading discussions and music will be performed. Hunter College, 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, Manhattan. 212 772-4068.

Brooklyn College held a moment of silence, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, on the steps of Boyland Hall, held a “unity and support” discussion/counseling session in the student center, and is offering counseling on an ongoing basis. Students, including fraternity members, have been collecting donations for the American Red Cross. Brooklyn College EMS student volunteers helped bring dozens of people from the College to local hospitals to donate blood, and ongoing blood collection is planned. A Hands Across the Campus event-bringing together all members of the campus community-is planned for October 24 at noon.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice (Manhattan) is serving through the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Foundation as a headquarters for receiving donations for The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Fund. Checks payable to that fund may be sent to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10019. The John Jay fund will direct aid to the Department of Sanitation and other agencies. Donations to the New York Fire Safety Foundation may also be sent care of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Foundation, 555 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. The College will also be holding an Emergency Town Meeting from 3:15 to 5:00 Thursday afternoon in the College Cafeteria. This will be an open forum for faculty, staff and students to share concerns and feelings about this week’s events. A panel of 10 post-traumatic stress experts will provide assistance and guidance on issues related to grieving and counseling.

Queensborough Community College organized an ecumenical prayer service at noon on Wednesday in the campus Newman Center and 125 students, faculty and staff met on Thursday in the Student Union to “begin the process of healing. College President Eduardo Marti is walking the campus and talking with students, and group and individual counseling is being provided on an ongoing basis. Counselors are addressing orientation courses. A public e-mail forum is underway with faculty and counselors sharing methods for dealing with crisis and participants are posting their own ideas, readings and strategies. The student government has mobilized a water and food drive, working with the Salvation Army and Red Cross.

The CUNY Graduate Center (Manhattan) will gather students, faculty and staff as a community in the Elebash Recital Hall at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 13. At that time, all available information will be shared; John Flaherty, Director of Security, will speak and the group will explore how best to be of help to those in the community and beyond who are in need. The Graduate Center’s Ombudsperson, Dr. Rolf Meyersohn, and Dr. Daniel Rothenberg, Director of Psychological Counseling and the Adult Development Center, will also be available to provide assistance.

Bronx Community College set aside a room in the Student Union to provide counseling for students, faculty and staff. On Tuesday, College administrators focused on providing transportation and campus accommodations for stranded students. On Wednesday, College President Carolyn Williams met with both a large group of students and smaller groups.

Lehman College (Bronx) cancelled an annual convocation scheduled for Wednesday, organized a blood drive and provided counseling for students, faculty and staff through the Office of Student Affairs.

The College of Staten Island held a moment of reflection and discussion Wednesday afternoon, during which students, faculty and staff led by President Marlene Springer gathered around the outdoor campus fountain. Provisions were made for more than 100 students (mainly Brooklyn residents) who could not reach their homes to stay overnight in the campus gym, and College officials worked with authorities to open the Verrazano Bridge to send two special buses filled with students to Brooklyn.

City College (Manhattan), through its President’s Office, held informal meetings with students and faculty on Wednesday. A memorial is planned for next week (probably September 20). Names of the College community’s loved ones lost in the disaster are being gathered for posting on the College website. Counseling is being provided and free refreshments were distributed on campus.

Hostos Community College (Bronx) will hold a “Gathering of Remembrance” on Thursday, September 13, at 3:30 p.m., in the Savoy Building.

New York City Technical College (Brooklyn) sponsored a town meeting, led by the College Provost Joanne La Perla. Crisis counselors are available on campus.

Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn) is offering crisis counseling and students with greater needs are being referred to the Bedford Stuyvesant Mental Health Center.

CUNY School of Law (Queens) scheduled a group meeting with counselors to allow members of the College community to discuss their feelings.

LaGuardia Community College (Queens) sponsored a moment of silence and College President Gail Mellow led a panel discussion on Political Violence and World Peace in the Mainstage Theatre.

Kingsborough Community College (Brooklyn) is offering counseling for students on an ongoing basis.

Baruch College students immediately organized a blood drive. The College administration is emphasizing various forms of counseling involving clergy, including Muslim clerics and rabbis.

Queens College is planning a memorial service and the campus ministry, led by Reverend Alan Bentx-Letts, Rabbi Moshur Shur and the Rev. Father Paul Wood, are offering counseling services along with College counseling staff.

York College is also planning events for students on their Jamaica, Queens campus.

Information on the status of BMCC and other CUNY facilities affected by the World Trade Center disaster is being posted and regularly updated on the University web site at www.cuny.edu.