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Remembering 9/11: Tonya Hunter

What a devastating day.

I was in President Baker's office as the events of  9/11 unfolded. I had a regularly scheduled meeting with him to discuss matters dealing with the Student Body, as I was the Student Senate President at that time. As I was sitting there, we heard the news. It was devastating. We immediately turned on the television and watched to see what was going on and began working on a plan about what we could do as a University for our students, faculty, staff and the community at large. 

I remember a feeling of stunned disbelief, shock and sadness for the people and our country. I called my parents immediately on a landline and informed them that I was safe and would be fine as the University had a plan implemented. I recall Dr. Baker telling my mother that he would keep me safe.

I remember being involved with a number of different activities and attempting to make the students feel safe — scheduling a campus wide meeting, assisting students who needed to make arrangements to return home or find loved ones, planning prayer services, arranging the yellow ribbons being hung on campus trees for the events of 9/11, attending candlelight services, and so much more.

Campus was quiet that day — overwhelmed by what had happened. The need to be in touch with family and friends was of the utmost importance to everyone. The lines of cell phones rang busy. Everyone around the world was trying to be in touch with one another. I remember people trying to find a means to communicate with their family and friends around the world — cell phones, land lines, email ... I remember the panic and the devastation of the event. It was amazing how word of the events and the devastation spread throughout the campus and around the world. 

During this time, Ohio Northern — through its students, faculty, staff and community at large — bonded together to help achieve the feeling of safety and "family" as the day progressed.  For days, I remember watching the news with other students. I remember groups of students working together to try to come up with various ways to help New York, bonding together working towards a goal of helping others and those in a deeper need than ourselves.

It was a day that changed the world.

—Tonya Hunter, BS ’02, JD ’05