Terrorist Acts Stun, Sadden Harvard Students

After a tense and difficult day trying to get in touch with family and friends, many Harvard students affected by yesterday’s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon gathered for a University-wide vigil on the steps of Memorial Church last night which attracted more than 3000 members of the Harvard community.

Many had spent the day trying to reach family members and friends, while others stayed glued to television, radios, and the Internet to learn about the latest developments.

Across campus, early phone calls from parents roused many students from their beds.

“My mom called and forced my roommate to wake me up,” said Eugene Chislenko ’04. “I believed her barely enough to go watch it on television.”

“At first, I just laughed. I thought it was another stupid little crash like that parachute over the Statue of Liberty,” said Mark J. Stanisz ’05. “But then the [New York Times] website started crashing, and I saw that something was very wrong.”

Some students were registering for classes in Sever Hall or en route to meetings and rehearsals in preparation for the first day of shopping period when they heard the news.

Rachel S. Weinerman ’03 was waiting in line when a proctor running registration received a call on her cell phone after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center tower.

“She had a look of shock on her face. Then she announced it to the room,” Weinerman said.