The Boston Marathon Tragedy and its Aftermath
Apr. 16, 2013
ISSO NEWS: April 16, 2013
A Weekly Newsletter Published by the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO), Office of Academic Services, Brandeis University
THE BOSTON MARATHON TRAGEDY AND ITS AFTERMATH
The Staff of the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO), and all of us at Brandeis, are deeply saddened at the horrific events yesterday at The Boston Marathon. It is not just the loss of life and injuries inflicted that have hit us so hard, but also the physical closeness of this tragedy, and the confidence shaken in what we normally enjoy in attending such a joyous celebration of Boston. It is all of these factors that will require time for us to get back to a sense of normalcy.
I am also very aware that some news outlets were reporting that an individual on a student visa was questioned in the aftermath of the events. While authorities have announced that they do not currently have any suspects, it does not mean we are not aware of the unease that such reports in the press (accurate or not) can create in the very large international student and scholar community that resides in the Boston area (and the campus communities of which we are all a part). I’ve lived through similar situations in the past (such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, where an international student was initially accused, but in the end an American was responsible for that tragedy), and know we must have confidence all of the facts will come out to provide true answers to help explain this tragedy. I encourage you to contact the ISSO if you have any questions or concerns.
I advise all of our international students and scholars to know that we are all part of this amazing Brandeis Community, and we are all struggling to come to grips with any understanding of this tragedy. Many of us have friends, relatives, and colleagues who were participating in the marathon, were spectators, or live in the area of the events of yesterday. It can be challenging to work through all of the emotions. I want to, therefore, provide you with the following recommendations:
(1) As outlined in emails from the Communications Office and from the Dean of Students Office, please be sure you have been in contact with your family to let them know you are ok. While for us it may seem as if we are far away from the events in downtown Boston, our loved ones may not understand the distance from campus or know if you enjoyed the holiday in Boston yesterday. Keep them updated, it will help them get through the emotions of the events as well.
(2) Utilize the support networks here at Brandeis --- contact the ISSO, the Counseling Center, the Chaplaincy Office, Dean of Students Office, your Community Advisors, and your friends – it can be very helpful just to talk to someone. We are here to help out in any way we can, and I find those closest to us, part of this tight Brandeis Community, can help us get through anything.
PLEASE NOTE: The Interfaith Chaplaincy will be hosting a vigil of solidarity today at 4:00pm at Chapels’ pond.
(3) Do not travel to the area of the events of yesterday in Boston for a few days. While there will be parts of the city that will be closed off as the investigation moves forward, best for all of us to stay away. If you have business to attend to in the area (internship, consular business, visiting friends), I would recommend contacting them (especially today) to see if they are open today and/or to see if they will require you to reschedule any appointment to another time.
(4) As we advise during orientation, visa regulations require international students and scholars to carry their visa documents with them at all times. While you may not normally carry your documents with you back and forth from your off-campus apartment to campus, you should be sure to carry them with you anytime you travel into Boston or outside of Massachusetts (especially if you will be taking the train, going to the airport, etc.).
NOTE: I actually have to pick up a relative at the airport today, and I know there will be extra security at the transportation centers for a number of days, so I was sure to bring my own passport (even as a U.S. Citizen) just in case extra identification is requested.
Please do not hesitate to contact the ISSO if we can help in any way. Feel free to stop by the ISSO (Kutz Hall, Room 215), or we can be reached by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (781-736-3480).
Our thoughts and prayers to all during this difficult time.
David Elwell, ISSO Director
and the ISSO Staff
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion, views or policy of Brandeis University, the
International Students and Scholars Office, or the editors of ISSOnews, unless otherwise noted.
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