Pictured are (from left) SGA President Dane Onorio, P.J. Smith, wrestling coach and Robeson County Red Cross Executive Board member and SGA Vice President for Finance Brandon Davis
"The September 11 terrorist attack represents a serious threat to our way of life," said Dr. Frank Trapp, professor of political science at UNC Pembroke.
Dr. Trapp and Dr. Weston Cook of the History Department discussed the attacks and its aftermath Wednesday in a forum at UNCP's University Center.
Money collected on campus by the Student Government Association (SGA) after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., totaling $700, was turned over to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund before the forum.
"It's good to see that our students are taking an active role in world events and coming to the aid of people in need," P.J. Smith said. Mr. Smith, who is UNCP's head wrestling coach and director of the Aquatics Program, is an executive board member and local Disaster Relief Committee chair for the Robeson County Red Cross.
SGA President Dane Onorio said it was a "wonderful response to a crisis" and "efforts will continue."
Dr. Cook offered a historic perspective on Muslin terrorism.
"America is part of the Islamic world with 5-7 million Muslims living here, many are third and fourth generation citizens," Dr. Cook said. "This is going to change our political reality."
"Many Muslims blame the U.S. for a variety of reasons dating back to World War II," he said. "We as Americans must do some soul searching when it comes to the Muslim world."
Dr. Trapp, who was stationed in Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine, said a traditional ground war there would be disastrous. The terrorist threat will not go away with Osama bin Laden's death.
"We must develop a comprehensive strategy regarding terrorism," he said. "If they successfully poison the water supply of a small to medium-sized city..who will feel safe again?"
About 50 students, faculty and staff attended the forum.