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  October 29, 2001

Days of Reflection on September 11 Planned

The University will sponsor a Metanoia November 12-14 to discuss a range of issues surrounding last month's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Paul Goodwin, a professor of history, and Chris Hattayer, president of the Undergraduate Student Government and a student representative to the Board of Trustees, are chairing a committee that will plan events for the three days, featuring workshops, seminars, lectures, and study groups. Efforts also are underway to bring a major speaker to campus.

Classes will be held as scheduled during the Metanoia, or period of reflection, but professors are being urged to focus class time on issues related to the events of Sept. 11 or the subsequent fallout from the attacks, including issues of discrimination and fear.

Last Wednesday, the planning group created four subcommittees, each of which was charged with developing events related to a specific topic. Those groups will focus on terrorism; multiculturalis m; Islam; and the impact of the attacks on students.

"This is an important event for students," says Hattayer, noting that a number of students had been calling for a Metanoia. "The range of events will give them an opportunity to raise issues they may have in an open forum, and will allow them to gain a broader understanding of different cultures and ideas."

A Metanoia, according to the University's Laws and By-Laws, is a period of time during the academic year that may be devoted to intensive discussion of topics of great concern to the University community. In order to allow for the maximum possible participation, panels, workshops, speakers, and other Metanoia activities will be scheduled primarily during times when students are not in class.

"Our hope is that the subcommittees will develop a series of events that will be broad-based, that will reach all sectors of the University community. We want to accelerate the healing process and facilitate discussions that will open people's minds to new ideas and perspectives," says Goodwin.

The University has held 10 periods of Metanoia during the past 31 years, the first in 1970 and the last in April 2000. Four of the 10 have dealt with race or diversity issues.

The committee includes nine faculty, including a representative of the regional campuses, five undergraduates, and two graduate students.

Faculty, staff or students interested in sponsoring an event or with topical suggestions should call Goodwin at (860) 486-2897 or Hattayer at (860) 486-1237.

Richard Veilleux

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