IFE COMMUNIQUÉ: PARIS TERRORIST CRISIS MANAGEMENT
16 November, 2015
I. First response: November 13-14, 2015
1. Contact was established with all IFE students in Paris, Strasbourg and Brussels within two hours of the first news of the attacks.
2. All sending universities were contacted with a report of the safety of their students immediately upon confirmation from the students themselves.
3. Early Saturday morning an email was sent to all students insisting on certain measures of security including those imposed on all citizens by the declaration of a state of emergency. The message also announced that while an event planned for Saturday morning at IFE was cancelled IFE was open and staffed for any students wishing to come by to talk, share, etc. Finally this message underlined the importance of staying informed of the situation, including seeking to understand these tragic events. The full text of this message is available upon request.
4. IFE offered help with return arrangements to those students who were in other countries for the weekend.
II. Continued response: November 15-18, 2015
1. Students in Paris are being asked to remain after the regularly class this week (Monday and Tuesday, half of the student group each day, at the end of the day) for a discussion and sharing of their reactions as well as a further security briefing.
2. Referrals for counselling have been offered to any student who feels the need of additional help to process these terrible events.
3. IFE staff continues to be fully available to all students, who have full contact information for all staff.
4. On Wednesday evening of this week (November 18), IFE has scheduled a discussion session for all students with Professor Gilles Ferragu who is a recognized expert on terrorism as well as an IFE board member.
5. Besides stressing basic precautionary steps for personal security, IFE’s approach to its students in this crisis is founded on two principles:
IFE students are adults and should be treated as same; IFE does not initiate contact with parents but rather works with and informs directly its students themselves.
IFE students are nearly three months into an immersive program and have without exception become integrated into their local environment both at home and at work; they are encouraged to engage with these environments even more fully in this difficult time.
6. IFE has launched a page for information, discussion and views on its website. This page will be maintained regularly for the benefit of students as well as their advisors on their home campus.
III. In the near future
1. IFE will be monitoring local developments to adjust security advice as needed.
2. IFE will maintain regular meetings with students.
3. IFE will continue to present ideas and views to encourage students’ reflection.
4. IFE will watch closely for signs of anxiety, ill-adjustment or distractedness in students.