Across the ocean from the tragic events in France, DePauw is responding to the effects of Friday’s attacks on Paris.
Friday evening, International Student Services connected with the Hubbard center to make sure that all students and families of international students were safe after the attacks. Resources and support has and will continue to be extended to both international students and students studying abroad.
Raj Bellani of the Hubbard Center said, “[DePauw] has no students studying abroad in Paris currently.”
According to Bellani, there were students abroad who had been traveling to Paris on field trips, but it was confirmed that they were no longer in the area.
However, “there is a small number of students from France on our campus, we reached out to them right away,” said Aliza Frame, Director of International Student Services. “We got confirmation that everyone was okay.”
In coincidental timing, German Language Department Assistant, Ines Kelbassa took the time Monday afternoon to discuss the European Refugee Crisis as part of International Student Services’ International Education week.
“I felt that it is an important issue, I was trying to raise awareness,” said Kelbassa.
She wanted to give the crisis more attention than the small amount of time she sees it covered though American news and media outlets.
The presentation began with a moment of silence for Paris.
Kelbassa then covered the crisis in general and the implications for the refugees trying to find asylum. After her presentation, Kelbassa facilitated a conversation between students, staff, faculty and community members.
The event was planned before the attacks in Paris, but lent to the discussion about safety in Europe.
When asked about her own feelings of safety in eventually returning to Germany, Kelbassa said that she believes the area in which she is from will be safe.
Conversation engaged many in attendance, the faculty and community members were eager to contribute to the crisis as a whole as well as in relation to Germany.
Frame was in attendance Thursday and has been playing a proactive role in supporting the international students that have been affected by last Friday’s events.
“If there is an international crisis, particularly if we know that this is a country where students are from then we want to contact them make sure that we ask about their own safety and about their families' safety and then we provide services,” said Frame. “We remind them that councilors are on call 24 hours a day.”
As students continue to process the events and repercussions, student life encourages student to seek out the support they need from whomever they feel comfortable with whether that is counseling services, their friends or others on campus.
Aside from conversation on campus there are multiple ways in which the Syrian Refugee Crisis has reached levels closer to Indiana.
According to NBC, after rumors surfaced that a Syrian refugee played a part in the Paris attacks last Friday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence along with a few other Republican Governors, announced a “suspension” of Syrian refugees in Indiana.
While Pence’s suspension may not allow refugees to find asylum in Indiana, The Hubbard Center and the DePauw professors on Winter Term trips traveling France have not been cancelled at this time.
Bellani said, as was emailed to the students enrolled in these Winter Term courses, the situation will continued to be watched as January come closer and the coordinators of these trips are right now sharing sympathy with those parts of the world.