Colleges Plan Tsunami Observances

On Thursday, Jan. 20, two campuswide events will be held in observance of the South Asia Tsunami disasters, sponsored by International Place, the CUC Office of the Chaplains, and the Deans of Students of The Claremont Colleges.

An interfaith service, In Memory of the Victims and Hope for the Survivors, will be held at noon at McAlister Center for Religious Activities, at Ninth Street and Columbia Avenue. The service will be officiated by Rabbi Leslie Bergson, the Rev. Catharine Grier Carlson, Father Joe Fenton, and professors Preethi de Silva, Zayn Kassam, and Deepak Shimkhada.

A second event, Voices from the Countries in Crisis, coordinated by I-Place, will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in McKenna Auditorium. Students from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh will share the experiences of their countries, as well as their concerns for the future. Donations for tsunami relief efforts will be accepted on behalf of those agencies active in the region. Information will also be provided on how the community may continue its support of aid projects.

“We know that when faculty, staff, and students return to campus, they will want to come together as a college community to express their deep sadness and sympathy for the victims of these devastating events,” says I-Place director Charlene Martin.

During the noon service, prayers from Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hebrew, and Hindu traditions will be offered. The latter gathering will feature the voices of many of the 107 Claremont college students who are from the tsunami ravaged countries.

“Many international students went home for the holidays and can bring firsthand reports,” Martin said. “Others remained in Claremont, trying to stay in contact with families at home, while initiating local relief efforts.”

For more information, call International Place, 909-621-8344, or the Office of The Chaplains, 909-621-8685.