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September 17, 2001
Dear Colleagues and Students:

These first few days of coping with the horrifying events of Sept. 11 have made me very proud of San Francisco State University.

At the first big University gathering my meeting with 1,200 residence hall students less than 12 hours after the attacks a spirit of mutual support and determination to avoid scapegoating punctuated the students' expressions of fear and bewilderment.

The next day, our quickly announced noontime rally in front of the Student Center drew a far larger crowd than I had anticipated. Over the space of some four hours, hundreds of students, staff and faculty stood remarkably silent except for their applause listening attentively as I, Academic Senate Chair Pamela Vaughn, AS President Ronda NewtScott, and member after member of the campus community spoke briefly about these terrible events, our own feelings, and the importance of helping each other throug h this. Again, our values showed strongly. A representative of our Student Muslim Association received strong applause for his heartfelt expression of sorrow and horror. Dean of Human Relations Ken Monteiro aroused murmurs of agreement with his reminder that as we express our personal pain, we take care not to inflict pain intentionally on others. Senate Chair Vaughn, who brought her class to the event, said that "we need each other" at such a time.

A candlelight vigil on Thursday, sponsored by Associated Students, and an opportunity for quiet meditation at our Memorial Grove on Friday concluded a week in which we did our best to comfort each other and to maintain our loyalty and support for all members of this community. As we move on through what is going to be a long, painful time, we on this campus can do no better than to continue in the spirit with which we have begun. I believe we will do just that.

Robert A. Corrigan

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Last modified February 20, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs