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Students Share Strength in Aftermath of Tragedy

It can be difficult coping with the stresses of HBS during the best of times. After the unbelievable horror of the events on September 11, many of us turned to existing networks of family, faith groups, and friends to see us through. Other people, perhaps feeling somewhat isolated here on campus, sought comfort here in the HBS community. Finally, many of us realized that sharing strength with other people was one way to carry on.
On Thursday, September 13 a hastily assembled group of students met in the project rooms of Spangler for an entirely student-led conversation. With nothing in common but Tuesday’s tragedy and our status as students, two-dozen near strangers were soon engaged in intimate discussion. At issue were how we were affected and how we might come to grips with the anger, fear, and sadness we were feeling. Participants included EC and RC students from several countries and many backgrounds.

The discussion did have some ground rules: Respect for HBS Community Standards. Focus on how we, as individuals, are doing, not on political, military, or economic implications. Understand that it is okay to tell a
joke, smile, or not talk about the attacks.

At the end of the conversation, students expressed a real relief to have heard about the feelings and experiences of their classmates. Many also felt that they were able to gain new perspective on the terrible loss of life and safety. Everyone agreed to keep meeting from time to time, and to continue the conversation by email. Because others might find a similar opportunity useful, similar discussion groups will be offered during the week of September 23. Watch for details by email.

September 24, 2001
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