Three weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks, the display of red, white and blue still stands strong. The buttons produced by the Campus Activities Board haven?t disappeared. From President Judy Genshaft to students, faculty and staff, displays of American pride can be seen across campus.
Many local businesses also have become more patriotic.
“We (Walgreens) sell stickers, shirts and license plates,” said freshman Allison Cornell, an employee of Walgreens. “We are all out of flags.”
Best Thrift, located on Busch Boulevard, has had an increase in patriotic sales within the last two weeks as well.
“People are buying anything that is red, white or blue, flags and shirts,” manager Sherri Fernadez said. “Everybody is trying to do something.”
At USF, the buttons made by CAB say: “USF Cares.” They were made to help students show their patriotism. The student organization has only one button maker but has made more than 500 buttons for the Tampa campus and is now making more for the Lakeland campus. The buttons cost $1 and proceeds go to the American Red Cross. But students and others have been donating more than just $1.
“We go through the Marshall Center desk, and the last I heard, we had made over $1,500 for the American Red Cross,” said Patrick Dean, CAB?s executive director.
CAB isn?t the only student organization that is supporting the victims.
The Residence Hall Association will hold a charity dance, “United We Stand,” Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in Holly J. They will accept donations which will go to the American Red Cross.
Harold Price, RHA?s vice president for programming, said he thinks fondly of the residents and their distribution of flags and sayings on windows such as “God Bless the USA” or “United We Stand.”
“I think it is awesome,” Price said. “If I had a flag, I would put it up too.”
Greek Life has put an American flag above the entrance to its office.
“It?s a symbol of hope and respect,” said Michael Farley, Greek Life coordinator.
Greek Life is doing more planning on how to reflect on the tragedy, Farley said.
“People have been touched and look at each other differently,” he said.
“There is more consideration, more seriousness and thoughtfulness when planning stuff they do.”
The University created a Web site for the USF community to respond and reflect on the nation?s tragedy.
“The Web site gives us a way to post the concerns of the university officials and student groups not only about the tragedy itself, but the issue of safety for the USF community,” said Dan Casseday, director of marketing.
Casseday said he hopes that one day students will look back on Sept. 11 and remember how USF pulled together as a community.
“I hope that both our American and international students will reflect one day that this was a time of testing and growing people, and that we?re all in this together,” Casseday said.
Administrators said they have been impressed with how positive and patriotic students, faculty and staff have responded to the national tragedy.
“They are actively expressing their heartfelt emotions, giving blood, raising money for the Red Cross, conducting public forums, having classroom discussions about both terror and tolerance,” Casseday said.
Some USF students have positive views on being more patriotic.
“I think it is important to support (the country) especially if we go to war,” said Lea Iadorola, a senior majoring in magazine journalism. “Why fight if no one wants you to?”
Others feel that being more patriotic is just a fad.
“I think now the mainstream is being patriotic,” freshman Angeline Garma said. “But not everyone may be patriotic and mean it. There should be a true patriotism without having a tragedy. Just because you wear red, white and blue doesn?t necessarily mean you?re patriotic.”