Diversity is not always synonymous with unity, and it can be challenging to foster a deep sense of togetherness amongst the many ethnicities and cultures that exist throughout the world. By hosting and participating in the many cultural events on campus, however, the class of 2001 helped to educate students on the importance of cultural diversity and embracing differences. Without a doubt, these learned qualities would later prove to be priceless in the wake of 9/11.Latin Night Bash
Pictured above (clockwise from top left): Black History Month, Jewish Seder, Puerto Rican Association Salsa Dancing, and Culture Haitienne.
Rebuilding a Nation
Although most of the members of the graduating class of 2001 had left campus by the fall, students returning to school could not have imagined the tragedy that soon would rock them and the nation. As the horrific events of 9/11unfolded, students, faculty, staff, and the university administration came together as a community to help out in every possible way. In an e-mail to students, Andrew Rothman Esq., Assistant Dean for the School of Law, recalled: “Many of us were here nine years ago, and remember not just the horror as we saw first hand the smoke rise over lower Manhattan, but also the subsequent coalescence of this community. As just one example, transportation into and out of Newark and New York was impossible that day, and almost all communications grids were stalled for hours, and yet by 1:30 that afternoon, every single law student and employee of the law school had secured either a means to reach home, or a place to spend the night. And across the campus, temporary housing arrangements were made for those students and staff in other units that were not lucky enough to be able to get home. And the generosity of spirit on this campus lasted for weeks thereafter. Rutgers-Newark became a staging ground for rescue workers in the days that followed, with the Golden Dome Gymnasium being converted into a center for housing workers in their down shifts, and amassing and distributing needed goods for the workers and survivors. The entire Rutgers Newark community became important contributors to the workforce at the Golden Dome, with student volunteers putting aside their studies a little to serve a bigger purpose, working side by side with their faculty and staff comrades in an enterprise that was (for once) not school related.”
In addition to campus-wide efforts to aid those affected by 9/11, the Rutgers–Newark law school organized the September 11th Blood Drive, which has since become a semi-annual event.
Remembering Those Lost
In 2002, the men and women of Rutgers–Newark who tragically lost their lives on 9/11 are memorialized on this plaque, which is located in the Norman Samuels Plaza.