The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN freshmen recall events of 9/11 attacks

Many freshmen were in the 8th grade when the September 11th attacks happened and though most of them are old enough to vote, now, many of them are misinformed and confused about the attacks.

“9/11 was the day that the U.S. declared war against Osama bin Laden,” said Darcy Cervantes, education major.

“I remember watching it on TV during class time. Teachers were talking about how it affected everyone, not just the people in New York and Washington D.C.” Cervantes said.

Willie Castillo, business major, was unaware of what was going on the whole day of the attacks until he got home and watched the news.

“My teacher announced what happened in class, she seemed really scared,” Castillo said.

While the rest of the world panicked about the events, Nitzi Flores, undecided major, didn’t go to school on 9/11. “I was at home and it was on every channel,” Flores said. “Since it was in New York, I just thought it was too far away.”

Flores added that even though 9/11 has caused more problems with traveling it’s better to be safe with heavy security than sorry.

Business major, Ana Villareal, was in the Philippines when 9/11 happened. The attack on the Twin Towers dramatically altered the plans of her family’s future.

“I remember seeing the twin towers on TV,” Villareal said. “My family and I were planning to travel to the U.S. but after 9/11 we waited 5 years to come here.”

Villareal has now only been in the U.S. for one week and she expressed how happy they were to be here.

Although some students were mostly untouched and unconcerned with the events, others had accepted conspiracy theories on the origins of the attacks.

“I saw everything on TV, but I went online and saw videos about what happened too,” said David Torres, mechanical engineer major. “I think it was a setup. I read about all the controversies and the way the buildings fell, it seems like an explosion was planted.”

Only a few freshmen said that what they saw on television that day made them nervous or scared.

“I was so worried that something might have happened to my mom because she worked for Delta Airlines as a stewardess,” said Justin Balatbat, liberal studies major. “I panicked that it could have been the plane she was on that got taken over by the terrorists.”

While Balatbat worried, some students who attended Catholic middle schools remembered praying after the attack.

“It started out as a normal day for me,” said Riza Yabut, health sciences major. “I was kind of scared, but we just prayed at school.”

“We prayed the whole day,” said Carolina Herrera, health science major. “I was scared. I watched the news in class, it was so weird.”

September 11th may have been weird for Herrera, and normal for Yabut, but for Attieh Rabei, undecided major, she was angry about the treatment of Middle Easterners following the attacks.

“People shouldn’t hate all Middle Eastern people,” Rabei said. “The entire Middle East isn’t like that. After 9/11 people became more (prone) to stereotype (people) of middle eastern (descent) just because of the terrorists.”

Other students could recall their classmates from the Middle East being harassed because of the terrorist attacks. “Middle Eastern students were terrorized after the attacks, but people eventually got over it,” Balatbat said.

The meaning of the word terrorism was forever changed after 9/11 for Yoon Kim, math major. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Kim said, referring to the attacks. “The fear of terrorism has dominated U.S. priorities for the last five years.”

Most of the students remembered that their schools wouldn’t allow them to watch the news in their classrooms.

“The principal didn’t want us to watch it,” said Nathalie Dayaon, health science major. “A few teachers were watching it on the news but most of the classes went on as usual.”

“My first class was U.S. history and we watched the news even though our principal didn’t want us to watch it,” said Michelle Padilla, anthropology major.

Even though all these students were affected differently, many freshmen contacted for this article said they still did not understand the real impact 9/11 had on the country and hoped that the university experience would help them sort out the effects of that day on their world.

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