By Stephen Petrick, Emily Bowers and Siri Agrell
Three Ryerson journalism students were among the thousands of terrified and panicked people in New York, after two terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The students were in the city for a Ryerson internship. Fourth-year student Kareen Madian and second-year graduate student Maria Jachenko e-mailed their broadcast instructor Mary Sheppard Tuesday to say they were unhurt. The wearabouts of a third student, Magdalene McCalla, who is interning at CBS in Manhattan, was unknown on Tuesday. On a day that is being called “the Pearl Harbour of our generation,” two commercial planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City just befor 9 a.m. Shortly after, the buildings collapsed, killing scores of people inside.
Jachenko, who’s also interning at CBS, told Sheppard the city was terrorized by the assault, but that she’s fine and was watching the events unfold on TV in her office. Madian lives in Manhattan but she is interning at CNBC in New Jersey. She also called her family in Toronto to tell them she’s safe. “She’s fine but she’s being run ragged trying to help out with the coverage,” said her sister, Talyn Madian. “Now we’re just worried about getting her home.” McCalla was on her way to her home in Brooklyn about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday when service to her cell phone was restored and she was able to call her mother, Cyslyn McCalle. In an e-mail to Sheppard Tuesday, Madian wrote she was entering her office when the attacks occured. A section of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., also caved in after a passenger jet flew into it Tuesday morning.
At Ryerson, dozens of students gathered before television sets on campus, watching in shocked silence as news reports flooded in. First-year interior design student Chun Yiu Lam sat perched on the edge of his chair in Pitman Hall’s cafeteria, watching the large screen intently. “We need to attack the terrorists, he said. “We need to stop this terrible stuff.” In the Ram in the Rye after 11 a.m., students sat in a semi-circle around the large television screen, some silently puffing on cigarettes. “I didn’t believe it at first,” said Chris Lucas, a fourth-year engineering student. “It’s World War Three.”
Snippets of conversation from people walking along Gould Street and through the halls predicted international disaster. In Pitman Hall, Chris VanEyck, first-year interior design student, said the entire world will have to take closer look at the way they handle [national] security. “It tells me that we have major problems with security and with our way of life.”