University Response to Earthquake in Japan

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Bwog would like to echo the message posted this evening on the Columbia homepage:

Columbia University expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims of the tsunami and earthquake, and our thoughts and concerns are with the people of Japan. We are currently working to verify the safety and well-being of members of the University community who may be present in the affected areas.

At this point there are no updates on students or faculty abroad in Japan. There is information on the university page on finding and contacting people currently there. Update (Monday, 6:10 pm) this was added to the University’s statement: Update ( as of Tuesday, March 15th)

At this time, we have accounted for 126 students and faculty who are in Japan, including one in Sendai. According to the latest count, there are 102 students and faculty in Japan. All are reported to be safe and most are far from the areas directly affected by the disaster. We will continue to monitor the situation.

Among the many responses to the disaster, Director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, Gregory Pflugfelder, gave this interesting commentary. He was in Japan at the time of the quake.



  1. drinking with jody now

    it's not dmb. it is ke$ha. re: bacchanal.

  2. Anonymous

    Prof. Pflugfelder is amazing. I was relieved when I found out he was safe.

  3. Anonymous

    I'm here in Japan through KCJS (Columbia's program in Kyoto)...

    Columbia and the faculty here have been acting really shady about what's going on. They said that the nuclear winds would not get to Kyoto. They also said that if there was another earthquake in Shizuoka we would not feel it.... except for the fact that my bed was shaking and I thought I was going to die last night. Columbia has been reacting so slowly compared to the other schools that participate in this program. Please demand that the administration take more control!

    Maybe the media is blowing this up to be more intense than it is, but there is no reason for us to be left in the blind by the University. Please pressure them to giving us as much information as they can!

  4. but

    condolences to those affected by the quake nonetheless

  5. p.j.

    The consortium of U.S. schools that are in involved in Jpan/Kyoto programs has a regularly scheduled meeting at Columbia tomorrow.
    The schools are trying to figure out what to do: Parents are demanding that their kids come home. How do they cancel a program mid-semester? Penn has allegedly agreed to pull out, and others will probably follow.
    I am sorry that you feel in the dark. More news should be available after the meeting tomorrow, one would expect.
    Best of luck and stay safe, p.j.

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