Following a series of terrorist attacks in Paris Friday, the University confirmed Saturday that all known Cornellians currently working or studying in Paris are safe.
The attacks, which left at least 129 dead, were part of a plot carried out by the Islamic State that included a mass shooting, hostage taking and several explosions, according to French officials.
Approximately 20 students and staff members were in Paris at the time of the bombings, according to Lex Enrico Santí, the University’s coordinator for travel and safety. A double suicide bombing also occurred in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, killing 43 people. However, no Cornellians were known to be in Beirut at the time, Santí said.
In response to the attacks, President Elizabeth Garrett released a statement Saturday decrying the acts of terrorism.
“On behalf of the entire Cornell community, I extend our sympathies and condolences to all those affected by the tragic series of attacks that occurred Friday night in Paris,” she said. “As a global university with many personal and professional connections to France through our alumni, staff, students and faculty, Cornell joins in condemning these acts of terror and stands united with the residents of Paris.”
In order to confirm the safety of Cornellians, the University worked “tirelessly” to contact all individuals known to be in France at the time through text messages, Facebook, emails and phone calls, Santí said in a statement.
As of Saturday afternoon, Santí said that he had successfully made contact with all individuals and that support services were available to Cornellians abroad and at Cornell’s Ithaca campus.
Currently, the University has no plans to end study abroad programs or work in Paris, according to Santí.
“I should mention though, that anyone dealing with acute trauma after the violence in France should take their time and evaluate their continued stay in country,” Santí said. “It is normal, after events like these, for individuals to face a great deal of stress and shock. No semester plan is worth the deletrious effects of trauma, and we will support our community as they make plans to take care of themselves.
Students abroad also employed similar methods of reaching out to friends at the time of the attacks.
Emily Fournier ’17, who is currently studying abroad at the University of Paris, said that while she was not in Paris on Friday evening, that she had also called and messaged friends within Paris to confirm their safety.
“I was lucky enough to be outside of Paris during the attacks, but many of my friends were nearby,” Fournier said. “The girls I was traveling with and I sat in our Airbnb calling and messaging all our friends who were in the city, and though no one was hurt, some of them had been very close to the attacks and heard police sirens all night.”
Fournier added that she appreciated the outpouring of support around the world, but that she was “still shaken and worried about what will happen next” and that she was likely to avoid “unguarded large crowds from now on.”
“I’ve eaten at the restaurant where there was a shooting, Le Petit Cambodge, with a couple friends from the program,” she said. “It’s very small and not near any monuments, so the location was really shocking.”
Students, faculty and staff members at Cornell’s Ithaca campus will have a chance to mourn the deceased from Thursday’s bombings in Beirut, Lebanon and Friday’s attacks in Paris Monday night on Ho Plaza. Organized by the French society, the event titled “United with Paris, Beirut” will take place at 6 p.m.