Tulane University officials are working to minimize the impact events near Boston may have on students.
This week got off to a traumatic start when two bombs exploded at the finish of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than one-hundred others.
Just days later, massive gunfire at MIT resulted in an officer’s death and one of two suspects in the marathon bombings.
“People from Boston obviously you have to sympathize with them,” said Tulane University student Matt Foreman said.
Even though the terror happened hundreds of miles away the effects are far reaching.
“It’s just tough being here while stuff is going on at home for them.” Foreman said. “So their kind on their toes and just not sure what to do.”
“There’s no doubt that those students who are from Boston who grew up there are going to take it harder because they are looking at the faces, the people,” University Professor Charles Figley said. “They listen to their accents, they see the familiar places.”
And that’s not all.
Dr. Charles Figley is a trauma expert at Tulane University’s School of Social Work.
He says history has shown acts of terrorism can cause anxiety among students who share, for example, ethnic ties to the accused.
They may become fearful of profiling and unjustified retaliation; similar to what the nation witnessed after 9-11.
“There is this hostility that is automatic because people need to discharge anger,” Figley said.
There’s been no reports of trouble on campus, or around town; but Figley says we may not have seen the worst, because the greater community is still taking in the events of the week.
The post traumatic reaction is days away.
His best advice to anyway struggling to work through this trying time is not to go it alone.
“And that is to be willing to reach out to other people they trust at least minimally; to talk about their fears, talk about their concern, their confusion,” Figley said.
Figley says this degree of stress can adversely affect students preparing for final exams.
Earlier University President Scott Cowen send words of encouragement to students in a form of an email.
Cowen said, “We know that a few members of our Tulane community were at the Marathon, but thankfully they were not physically injured.” “We continue to assess whether the explosions impacted any Tulanians and, if so, how we might assist them.” Please let us know if someone needs our help.”
Counselors are available to any student who needs help.