Shortly after last Tuesday’s heinous terrorist attacks, University President Jack DeGioia met with students, saying that the following hours, days and weeks would test the character of our university. Faced with the impact of an overwhelming tragedy, the people of our university rose to the challenge and pulled together to get through a very difficult period.

We want to say thank you.

Thank you to the exemplary leadership of President DeGioia, who called together an emergency response group every few hours for several days to meet the challenges of the crisis situation. He made sure that each part of the university, especially the students, were aware of what was happening and had a part in the decision making.

Thank you to the hundreds of students who volunteered over the past week to respond to the crisis. You truly lived out the Jesuit call to be “men and women for others.” Members of GUSA and the Senior Class Committee ran information tables throughout campus so that students, faculty and staff could have the resources they needed to get through the tragedy, have access to updated information about services at Georgetown and have an opportunity to donate to the American Red Cross.

Thank you to the clubs and athletic teams, especially members of the Unity Coalition, who volunteered over the weekend to be SafeWalk escorts, serving as a presence on campus to ensure the safety of their fellow students well into the night. Thank you to those students and administrators who put together late-night activities and communal programming events to bring our campus together.

Thank you to Alpha Phi Omega for helping organize the blood drive, as well as extending their van escort program through the weekend. In no uncertain terms, all those who were a part of the blood drive efforts helped save lives. There will be additional opportunities to give blood over the next two Fridays in Bulldog Alley.

Thank you to all members of the community who donated to the American Red Cross either at an information table or at one of The Corp’s tip jars. So far, we have collected over $7,000 in donations. This has been a tremendous outpouring of support.

Thank you to the people of Campus Ministry and the Jesuit community who worked tirelessly to put on a series of prayer services and vigils. Our chaplains have proven to be exceptionally comforting in helping to deal with this awful period. In time of need, we have found solace through the sharing of our various faith traditions.

Thank you to the resident assistants, apartment assistants, hall directors, and other members of Residence Life who went to great lengths to assist their residents in this time of grief. From floor discussions to individual counseling, you went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you also to the members of Counseling and Psychiatric Services, who put in extra hours to ensure that people have the resources they need to get through these tough times. A thank you also goes out to the Department of Public Safety Officers, who have been working 12-hour shifts to make certain that our campus is safe.

The past week has indeed been a trying time for our world, our nation and indeed the Georgetown community. Everyone has been affected in one way or another by the horror brought upon our civilization. We have faced absolute evil and unspeakable horror, but in our sorrow we have also found strength. We have found the strength that comes from a community that is concerned for the well being of all of its members. We have found the strength that comes from a fundamental belief in good triumphing over evil. We have found the strength that comes from a 212-year tradition of openness and inclusion.

The past week has been a test of the character of our university, and we have met the challenges head-on and succeeded. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students – in ways big and small, you have given our campus community many reasons to be proud. Thank you.

Ryan DuBose is a senior in the College and the president of GUSA. Brian Walsh is a senior in the College and the vice-president of GUSA.

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