Brandeis students in Japan unharmed

In the hours after the worst earthquake in Japan's history struck, triggering a devastating tsunami, Brandeis moved quickly to determine if university students studying there were safe and to offer support to Japanese students on campus.

President Fred Lawrence, in his blog, called the images of massive devastation in Japan "deeply disturbing."

"As a caring community, our thoughts are with the people of Japan as they struggle to cope with their nation's biggest recorded earthquake and the savage tsunami that followed," the president said.

As the day went on, it was determined that three Brandeis undergraduates studying in central Japan were all unharmed, as were students in other Asian nations and in Latin America who could have been affected by the tsunami. Officials at Keio and Waseda universities, where three Brandeis International Business School students are studying, reported that no students, faculty or staff were harmed during the disaster. IBS staff is working with the two universities to contact the three Brandeis students to check on their well-being. The university also reached out across the community to show concern and offer support to Japanese undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, researchers and faculty members and those members of the community with relatives on the island nation.

"In crisis situations like these, we focus on reaching out to our students studying abroad in the affected locations, as well as our international students from that country or region," said David C. Elwell, director of the International Students and Scholars Office.

"We are concerned about the safety of the members of our entire Brandeis community, which includes families and friends of our students, our faculty and staff, our alumni, and our colleagues abroad who may be facing such devastating circumstances. Our students appreciate that Brandeis is aware of the situation and there to help in any way we can," he added.

Elwell said all corners of the Brandeis support network are called upon when an international crisis occurs.

"It is the entire campus providing support — from Student Life staff, the Chaplaincy, the Counseling Center, the Office of Study Abroad, the International Students and Scholars Office, faculty and staff — both on campus and abroad. It is also individual members of the community looking out for their peers who may be having a difficult time and making sure they know resources are available and getting them the help they need. We are truly reaching out to our entire Brandeis global community in this time of crisis."

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