Attacks will not affect study abroad
By Maribel Morey
Assistant News Editor
While terrorist attacks and proceeding fears of anthrax have virtually halted the country for weeks, many students are wondering whether they will still be going abroad in the spring.
"We're not planning to cancel anything for next semester," said Claudia Kselman, associate director of international study programs. "The only program that is canceled is Jerusalem."
Nonetheless, the University has taken steps in case the campus is flooded with extra students who were planning on going abroad in the spring.
"It'll probably be mid-November that we will form some contingency plans in place, but because the unknowns are so great right now — depending on the number [of students returning or staying on campus], determines the direction we'll go," said Scott Kachmarik, associate director of Residence Life and Housing.
Students returning from their fall semesters abroad might face overcrowded residence halls if students stay at Notre Dame instead of going abroad in the spring.
"We would be opening up some lounges, some vacancies scattered here and there — and if the numbers are really great — other buildings on campus that have living space or even off-campus."
Some of these on campus locations could include Saint Joseph Hall, the Morris Inn and the Fatima retreat center. Kachmarik, however, does not believe the University will need to reach that point.
"Another option is local hotels, but I don't see that happening," he said. "I see maybe 15 to 20 people we didn't count on and those [people] can be easily accommodated in lounges." Kachmarik adds that the University could absorb up to 120 people in the lounges if it needed to.
Students already on campus would remain in their rooms while students arriving from abroad would be placed around campus.
"Most likely people who are here and changing their minds and not going — we'd probably leave in place. Those coming, we'd have to find openings to put them in." he said.
He added that people might not be able to get in the room they want, but it is more likely that they could get into the building they want. However, since there will be a few more people on campus, the housing process next semester will just be more difficult.
"[This will call for] flexibility both on our part —[to] make sure people can get in rooming situations that people desire, but also know that it'll take time for everything to work out," he said.
Now a month and a half after the attacks, the University is not too wary of the possibility of an extremely crowded campus.
"The world situation has stabilized somewhat — things have relatively stabilized so it's helped people see they can go on as they were," Kachmarik said. "In the last month, only a few students — less than 10 — have been making inquiries of `what if I don't go?' Less than 10 phone calls makes me think people are more confident about their situation."
Not only are people more confident about their experience abroad, but to a certain extent people are realizing that safety is guaranteed outside the U.S, he said. "The sense of what is happening, the enormity of it all, is probably not as great outside the U.S."
All News Stories for Tuesday, October 30, 2001