ASU and Tempe prepared after Paris Attacks

Security and safety in Tempe has been brought to the center of attention after the November terrorist attacks in Paris and around the world. The Paris attacks, which the ISIS has claimed responsibility for coordinating, left 130 dead across the city.

The ASU chapter of Students Organized for Syria, a national organization dedicated to assisting Syrians in their effort to build a self-determined, pluralistic society, held a carnival event in support of refugees to bring together the ASU community and new Syrian families in Arizona.

“We had both Syrian refugees and ASU students come show their support,” says Zana Alattar, president at Students Organized for Syria at ASU. 

“All we saw was support with graciousness and generosity.”

There is now a nationally debated topic over whether Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the United States.

The terror attacks have sparked a debate around the country about what to do with the flood of refugees that have been fleeing Syria. President Barack Obama has called for the country to accept 10,000 refugees, but many governors across the country, including Gov. Doug Ducey, have demanded a halt of Syrian refugees into their states.

In a 289-137 vote, the House of Representatives approved legislation that requires new screening requirements on refugees from Syria and Iraq before they can enter the United States.

‘The attacks we saw were acts of terrorism and in no way associated with the Syrian refugees who are trying to come to the United States,” Alattar says.

“The refugees trying to enter the U.S. are people who have fled death, destruction, bombings and torture ten times the scale of what happened in Paris.”

ASU Police and Tempe Police believe they have appropriate precautions to defend and protect against such attacks.

“Arizona State University’s top priority is providing a safe and secure environment for the entire campus community,” says Jerry Gonzalez, ASU Police Department spokesman. “We do have the capability to deploy robust security measures and make adjustments as needed.”

The school also works to educate students and faculty to prepare anyone in the event of an emergency, Gonzalez says.

ASU Police is unable to disclose specific security details regarding anti-terrorism procedure, but the school works closely with city, state and federal agencies on both incident planning and response, says Tempe Police Spokeswoman Molly Enright.

Even with the recent ASU school shooter threat in past weeks, one ASU student does not feel endangered.

“I feel like when that stuff happens, it doesn’t really have a dramatic effect on me,” says ASU junior Alex Maltagliati. “People continue on with their lives.”

Even in light of the Paris attacks Maltagliati feels the same, because people still move on when things happen in different countries. with the recent Paris attacks.

Because of his major, Maltagliati says he doesn’t feel strongly about political or security affairs.

“Because I’m a engineering student, I have an opinion but I can’t make as many connections to the other things affected by the incident.”

Alattar does not believe that the media is portraying the accurate views of the American citizens.

“I do not think the American public is as misinformed as we are led to believe,” she says. “I have hope in our population that we will make the right decision.”

Alattar and the rest of her organization launched the campaign, #RefugeesWelcome, in an effort to stop the anti-refugee bill.

“We are disappointed to report that the House of Representatives did not vote to pass the anti-refugee H.R. 4038 bill,” Students Organize for Syria at ASU said in a Facebook post. “That doesn’t mean the fight is over!”


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