Members of the University community wake up today to a different world and campus. Although the University encourages students to remain calm about the war, safety officials recently drew up contingency plans for a possible attack on U.S. soil.

Department of Public Safety Director Bill Bess e-mailed deans, directors and department heads yesterday to notify them of warnings and possible security increases in anticipation of an attack.

“Emergency plans have long been in place at the (University) since Sept. 11, 2001, all of us have become more aware of the need to be prepared,” Bess wrote in the e-mail. “Plans have been reviewed and revised, where necessary, to help ensure the (University) is a safe and secure environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

The University has established emergency response protocols including evacuation plans, security updates at various labs and posted emergency procedure information in many campus buildings. University officials will soon launch a website to keep students updated on the latest news regarding safety and procedures. Bess said the University has worked with other southeast Michigan officials to plan for an emergency.

“Our Level I Trauma Center is fully prepared to care for injured persons in a mass emergency, including those that involve biological, chemical or radiological materials,” Bess said.

DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said while bomb shelters do not exist anymore in the area, there have been discussions about evacuating the community, should there be a need to do so.

Bess advised the community to stay updated on news, report suspicious activity and “use care, caution, common sense and control.”

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Arab and Muslim students complained about increased harassment and discrimination. Brown urged students to come forward with any future complaints.

In addition, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching posted a list of guidelines on their website for professors who wish to lead classroom war discussions. CRLT encourages teachers and students to allow a diversity of opinion and respect people’s views.

“Students will have very different interpretations of the war, its causes and its potential outcomes. It is important to allow students to express these differences without fear of ridicule or attack, while also encouraging disagreement, which is a cornerstone of critical thinking and part of the academy’s long tradition of intellectual inquiry,” according to the website. Additional information can be viewed at www.clrt.umich.edu.

University Counseling and Psychological Services also posted information on its website for dealing with emotional problems due to war.

CAPS gives advice for handling emotions including talking with friends or family, creative expression and staying healthy.

“We encourage you to be aware that such intense feelings can and often does cause additional physical and mental strain,” the website states. “Just remember, that stressful times require us to be easier on ourselves. It is very important to be extra caring of ourselves at this time.”

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