A Monday night forum at Drake University focused on the role of universities in times of national crisis. University of Iowa president Mary Sue Coleman says students have shown a great need to talk about what’s going on.Coleman doesn’t expect huge, anti-war marches on university campuses reminiscent of the Vietnam era, but she says if there are, people should be allowed to express their views in a way that doesn’t impinge on the safety of others. She says they’ve had a few small demonstrations about what’s happening in Afghanistan. Drake professor Robert Harriman says one of the “sorry ironies” of the September 11th terror attacks is that students are more interested in world events and other cultures.Governor Tom Vilsack says universities must be “safe havens” for thoughts and ideas, and for those of different cultures. Vilsack says universities need to provide us with a sense of history.The publisher of the Des Moines Register says the American media have done Americans a disservice over the past two decades by reducing news coverage of international events. She says her paper is now devoting more space to international stories.
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