NIU administrators remember Sept. 11 ten years later

By Ross Hettel

Ten years ago, the attacks on the World Trade Center changed the world drastically, and the effects were felt over 800 miles away at NIU.

Angie Dreessen, director of Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services, was a Grant Residence Hall Director on the day of the attacks. The first thing faculty and staff did on that day was set up viewing areas so students didn’t have to watch the news alone, Dreessen said. Counselors were made available in case any student needed help coping with the tragedy, Dreessen said.

“The thing that stuck out the most was how quiet it was,” she said. “[It was] very somber.”

Helping students cope with tragedies like Sept. 11 and other recent events is nothing new to NIU staff, said Michael Stang, Executive Director of Housing & Dining.

“One of things we have unfortunately gotten very good at over the last decade is our approach to supporting students,” Stang said.

He said the standard approach now is to provide a place for students to gather and support resources and help build a sense of community.

The aspect of being in a community and able to talk with other students helps them cope with what they are going through, he said.