Moved by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the United States, a group of Wake Forest University students has begun organizing a series of events that explores issues raised by the attack. The series, or theme year, is called “The Year of Unity and Hope: Pro Humanitate at Work.”
Expected to run throughout the academic year, the series will begin Wednesday, Sept. 26, with an 8 p.m. forum called “Understanding September 11.” It will be held in Brendle Recital Hall in Scales Fine Arts Center, and is free and open to the public. Wake Forest faculty members including Charles “Hank” Kennedy and Charles Kimball will speak at the forum. They will give short presentations on their areas of expertise followed by a question and answer session.
Kennedy, a professor of political science, is an expert on Pakistan and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kimball, chair of the religion department, is an expert on Islam and religion and politics in the Middle East. Both have provided analysis of the United States’ “War on Terrorism” for the media.
Wake Forest senior Jay Cridlin is the co-chair of the event series committee which was created during a university retreat for student leaders. Cridlin, editor of Wake Forest’s student newspaper, the Old Gold and Black, said the committee was formed in response to students’ need to understand the political situation and to assist in the relief efforts.
“The political situation is so complex, and a lot of people still don’t understand why all this is happening, and what could happen from here,” Cridlin said. “There’s a great need for information, and for opportunities to do something with the knowledge and understanding we hope to gain.”
University administrators are working with the students to plan the theme year.
“We were very pleased to see that students were compelled enough to explore this topic that they wanted to take responsibility for organizing the theme year and events,” said Ken Zick, vice president of student life and instructional resources at Wake Forest.
“The student leaders will also act as a coordinating committee for student-run initiatives for service to help with the relief effort like blood drives.”
Wake Forest has previously celebrated theme years including “The Year of Ethics and Honor” and “The Year of the Arts.” No single theme had been chosen for this year. With approval from the university, the students are planning several events tied to the theme, “The Year of Unity and Hope: Pro Humanitate at Work.” “Pro Humanitate” is the Wake Forest motto. It means, “For the good of humanity.”
Events will include a fund-raiser organized by the university’s Volunteer Service Corps to raise money for the September 11 Fund which benefits victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The student committee will also invite prominent speakers to campus.
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