The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday September 18th

Campus Services Help Students Cope With Effects of Tragedy

Student Health Service's Counseling and Psychological Service is offering walk-in assistance for students who need immediate guidance, said CAPS Director John Edgerly. "Right now, students are in shock," he said. "They're just living with (the news) right now and are having a variety of different responses to it."

CAPS is reaching out to students by sending counselors throughout campus to talk with students who have been identified as needing assistance, Edgerly said. He said the service is efficiently meeting students' needs. "We're very busy, but so far things are going pretty well we think."

Edgerly said dealing with tragedies can be a multi-step process and can take some time. "(Students) need to, one, get good information and make sure it's correct, two, connect with whoever they need to connect with, three, be cathartic and experience the range of emotions," he said.

As Tuesday's events unfolded, television sets were set up for students who wanted to view the day's news updates.

Union Director Don Luse said the most important thing for the Union staff to do was to make the broadcasts available. At about 10 a.m., seats were placed in front of the jumbo screen of the Great Hall, and televisions were turned on in the Cabaret and other Union locations.

But Luse said Union officials also provided space for quiet meditation. "We also took the (Union) Auditorium and made sure it was a place for private, silent contemplation," he said.

Luse said the Union staff responded in a similar manner in 1996 when a verdict was delivered in the O.J. Simpson trial. But the duration of the two incidents are completely different, he said. "The verdict was quick, and then it was over -- this has been longer."

Jeff McCracken, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety, said campus police have not needed to assist any students or investigate any incidents related to Tuesday's events but added that DPS will keep an eye out.

"We're monitoring the situation, both nationally and locally, to see what, if any, effects it might have on campus," he said.

Although cell phone service throughout the nation was complicated by a rush of calls following the attacks, UNC Telecommunications did not report any problems with overloaded phone lines. But representatives said they received a notice from BellSouth asking them to help limit traffic to only essential calls during the early hours of the tragedy.

Although UNC Hospitals were not able to independently organize a blood drive, numerous emergency blood drives are scheduled for the coming days in cooperation with the Orange County Red Cross. The first blood drive will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the School of Medicine at the third floor of Berryhill Hall. Student government and the Residence Hall Association also are sponsoring a drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in the Union.

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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