CNN coverage of global events includes Denison’s East Quad


Denison students rally on the college’s East Quad Sunday night.

College students around the country reacted overnight to the breaking news coming out of Pakistan. Denison’s students were no exception, with several hundred gathering on the East Quad, as reported on CNN.

“Everyone was united and celebrating our country, regardless of their political affiliation,” says Colleen Russo ’12, who sent images to CNN’s iReport and was then interviewed by a CNN staff reporter for a follow-up story titled, “Students rejoice at colleges across the U.S.” Along with Denison, that story featured students’ reactions from Yale, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Illinois State.

“Although the majority of undergrads were just elementary school students when the September 11 attacks occurred, it seems the significance of bin Laden’s death is not lost upon them,” the CNN story says.

Of Russo, CNN said, “The 21-year-old psychology major explained that she grew up knowing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In fact, as an 11-year-old child, Russo was was quoted on the front page of Sept. 12, 2001, edition of The Daily Iowan, “I never thought something like that would happen. I thought all the wars were over, and people wouldn’t do that stuff anymore.”

“This was not about celebrating his death, but about honoring the victims of 9/11,” says Russo now. “I told the reporter at CNN, today I felt some closure of the innocence I lost almost 10 years ago.”

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7:58 PM May 2, 2011

A little ashamed wrote:

Well, glad you all could follow this lead :


9:47 PM May 2, 2011

du alum wrote:

great for all that he’s off the planet – an event worthy of reflection, if not joy. now let’s ground ourselves in remembering an America that leads – and acts – by highest example.


10:45 PM May 2, 2011

Colleen Russo wrote:

I think there is a big distinction between celebrating his death and acknowledging (and perhaps celebrating, if one chooses) what this means for the fight against terrorism and for the families of 9/11 victims (and any other attacks by bin Laden).

I can’t speak for my peers, perhaps some were indeed celebrating his death, but I do know that not everyone was, and therefore I do not think it is fair to generalize that to this campus gathering as a whole.


6:44 PM May 3, 2011

du alum wrote:

Not generalizing or “accusing” of ill will; simply expanding on our [shared] gut reaction, as we move forward.

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr

(as is written in Slayter)


7:34 PM May 3, 2011

Colleen Russo wrote:

du alum: Sorry, I should have been more clear that I was responding to “A little ashamed” and not you. I agree with both of your comments and did not think you were generalizing or accusing at all.

I’ve seen others posting that quote by MLK and I think it fits really well. I hope that this continues to make us feel united as it did the other night on the quad, but you are right that it is crucial we now lead and act by highest example.


10:17 PM May 3, 2011

du alum wrote:

I suppose I stand a little corrected anyway =)

DU love,
du alum


11:08 PM May 3, 2011

Colleen Russo wrote:

Haha. That is too funny. I can’t imagine what the woman who started the misquote is feeling…

DU <3

P.S. Be enjoying you're an alum and not having finals right now! :)


3:11 PM May 6, 2011

Jared Gray wrote:

I am happy to see that someone other than myself thought that this reaction was distasteful. Citizens of New York aside, it was this nation’s college students that reacted most rambunctiously to the news (perhaps even more so than NY residents, depending on the college). This doesn’t make too much sense to me, as young adults are the statistically least politically aware/motivated group of voting-age people. Moreover, 9/11 occurred during most current college students’ lives during elementary or middle school. They have not witnessed firsthand the drastic changes in the tone of the discourse of the adult world. All of this, I think, points to the fact that many college students around the country were simply looking for an excuse to get riled up about anything at all.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Osama bin Laden is gone and that is a good thing for the world. But I think our immediate reaction to the news, as well as many people’s current craving for brutal assassination photographs exemplifies an inappropriately zealous reaction. The Salon article gets it right when it advocates the following: “[O]ur reaction… should be the kind often exhibited by victims’ families at a perpetrator’s lethal injection — a reaction typically marked by both muted relief but also by sadness over the fact that the perpetrators’ innocent victims are gone forever, the fact that the perpetrator’s death cannot change the past, and the fact that our world continues to produce such monstrous perpetrators in the first place.”


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