A higher education institution
such as Syracuse University also plays a unique role in helping
people understand international crises, says Chancellor Shaw.
In a message to the SU community, Shaw described universities
as places “where the search for truth can go on, unhindered
by fear of reprisal.” He described some of the challenges that
students and the country would face, including the balance between
national security and personal liberty, military attacks versus
diplomatic actions, and the expression of patriotism without
squelching diverse opinions.
illuminate the Sheets of Expression with candles.
To encourage a “spirited dialogue” on such issues,
a committee chaired by David Rubin, dean of the S.I. Newhouse
School of Public Communications, developed a series of seven
University Forums on Terrorism. “It’s our intention that the
forums provide additional facts and perspectives on many aspects
of this terrible event, and the response of the United States
to it,” Rubin says. “In this way, we hope to enrich the debate
on campus.” The first program, “Some Origins of the Crisis,”
featured a panel of three faculty members who spoke about Islam
versus religious extremism, cultural views on religion and violence,
and U.S. relations with Arab countries. Other forums dealt with
the global response to terrorism, bioterrorism, balancing civil
liberties and national security, and wartime media coverage.
Because Muslims at SU and around the country
suddenly had to distinguish themselves from the terrorists and
defend their religious beliefs, the University’s Muslim Student
Organization held “A Public Forum on Islam.” The organization
hoped to educate the campus community about Muslims and clear
up misconceptions about Islam stemming from the terrorist attacks.