BC community responds to Paris attacks

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Friday, Nov. 13, Bellevue College President David Rule asked “that you keep the people of Paris, Beirut and all those affected by these senseless, unthinkable tragedies in your hearts and minds.” The flag was lowered from the time of Obama’s proclamation regarding the incident until close of business on Thursday to represent the campus’ solidarity with those affected.

The coordinated terrorist attacks left 133 dead and over 300 wounded. Gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a concert hall, at restaurants and on the streets of Paris near the national stadium during a soccer game.

Here on campus there are many resources available for students who want to learn more about these issues or talk about any emotional response to this event. The counseling center is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and appointments can be made by calling or visiting their office in the B building.

Instructors are also available to have discussions or to answer questions. To learn more about what led up to this incident politically and socially, students can always use the library as a resource for getting more in-depth information.

BC Political Science instructor David Spataro advised students to “cultivate a broad spectrum of sources of information and conscientiously look beyond the main places that they find their information,” when he gave advice on how students should react towards this incident. He explained that it is important to establish high quality sources in order to get more context for this kind of tragedy.

During this time, “it’s important to recognize the individual persons responsible, rather than blaming entire groups, especially those of a religious nature,” said ASG VP of Pluralism and Student Affairs Sasha Lee.

Some instructors choose to discuss incidents like this one in the classroom, but many factors come into this decision. Curriculum objectives need to be met, and Spatoro explained that if the topics can’t be given adequate time, it can be best to prioritize giving students the tools to analyze and discuss the topics on their own.

“Whether the terrorism is abroad or internal and whether it is organized or just an individual on campus, counseling is important, having support systems is important, being able to be vulnerable in discussions with other people is important,” Spatoro added.

Other resources include Dangerous Intruder trainings on BC campus for students, faculty and staff. These trainings prepare individuals for responding to emergency situations, whether on campus or out in their personal lives.

In the greater Bellevue community, King County Sheriff John Urquhart asked his deputies to carry arms even when off-duty in response to these events. There have been no immediate threats to the Seattle or Bellevue regions, but Urquhart said in an interview with the Bellevue Reporter, “With all that is going on in the world, it is more important than ever to have the means to protect your family, the public, and yourself.”

In response to this and other recent tragedies, Rule reminded everyone “that we must continue to act with kindness towards one another; to renew our efforts to ensure Bellevue College is a safe and welcoming place; and to make sure we honor our commitment to foster an environment in which we embrace our differences. It is only through love and compassion that we will truly be able to move forward.”