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Feeling the fallout.

TWO RECENTLY RELEASED SURVEYS ILLUMINATE THE EFFECTS that this country's most prominent disasters of the 21st century have had on IHEs and their students.

"September 11: Effects on My Campus Five Years Later," conducted by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, found that many schools (more than 30 percent) have experienced major or transformative effects due to post-9/11 visa rules and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, or SEVIS. "Since 9/11 the opportunity to bring international students and faculty to this country has grown more problematic," says David Warren, president of NAICU.

Curriculum has also been an area of some transformation, with courses on religion, Islam, and the Middle East springing up around the country. And nearly 21 percent of respondents said they have seen a major impact on campus risk management and security due to 9/11.

Universities close to Ground Zero have endured experiences all their own. "First, it made us all realize that we are all more vulnerable than we thought," says David Caputo, president of Pace University which has a campus in downtown Manhattan. The terrorist attacks and their aftermath also gave Pace a greater sense of community, says Caputo, as well as cause to rethink physical security.

Not every area of life--whether at Pace or other schools--has been affected by 9/11. According to NAICU's survey, a majority of independent IHEs have seen moderate or little to no effects on campus academic freedom, study abroad programs, and budgets. The survey of 133 presidents and senior-level administrators also found that, for most schools, the U.S.A. PATRIOT ACT has had moderate or little to no effect.

Unlike the aftermath of 9/11, the fallout of Hurricane Katrina has fermented for only a year. As time passes, administrators, faculty, and staff should make students aware of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, says John Marszalek, an assistant professor of counseling at Xavier University of Louisiana and a research fellow at Mississippi State University. Marszalek was among a group of professors from Xavier, Loyola University New Orleans, the University of New Orleans, and Mississippi State who conducted a web-based poll of displaced students last November and December, unearthing widespread indicators of depression and grief.
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Title Annotation:BEHIND the NEWS
Author:Fliegler, Caryn Meyers
Publication:University Business
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Words:373
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