In the wake of terror attacks in Paris last Friday, UCL offers consolations and support to students affected.
On the night of November 13, gunmen and suicide bombers launched seven attacks in Paris, targeting a concert hall, a stadium, restaurants and bars. More than 129 people died and hundreds were seriously injured.
UCL, with 397 French students and 2196 alumni living in France, immediately responded to the accident by flying its flag at half mast, joining in on the one minute silence across Europe, posting a statement on its website, and launching consulting programmes.
In his online statement published on 14 November, Prof. Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, stated:
“The UCL community wishes to send its support to the people of Paris and France after the terrible events that occurred in Paris on Friday night. We also wish to send our condolences to the families of the victims of these horrific attacks.”
A French student studying at UCL, who wished to remain anonymous, was at her home in Paris at the time of the attacks, just 25 minutes away by tube from the Bataclan concert hall and the Petit Cambodge restaurant, two major spots of explosions.
She was with her family, watching the soccer match when the attacks happened. She recounted:
“We were quite shocked. It felt like war… we were advised not to go out. We were supposed to go to a theatre the next day, but all theatres, cinemas, and venues were closed.”
“We immediately received lots of messages from friends all over the world asking if we were safe, which was very heartwarming.”
Among the support she received, was a consolation email from UCL. It listed various ways of getting condolence, featuring support groups, which offer sessions for students who need help.
Another Parisian UCL student, Camille Ginet, reflected on the attacks in a moving article on this website last week, defiantly saying that we should “Fight for Paris, fight for the world and fight for humanity.”
Apart from the support groups arranged by UCL Student Support and Wellbeing, there is also help available from Crisis support, UCL Psychological Services, UCL’s Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor, and other resources open to students.
Many Parisians have been inundated with messages of support and if you are suffering in the aftermath of this disaster, don’t hesitate to reach out to the UCL community. If you have friends affected in this event, don’t forget to give them a warm hug and much love.
Featured image credit: Chris Bethell