Students take travel precautions in wake of war

Josh Coffman

With the threat of war in Iraq and terrorist attacks both in America and abroad, many students have considered the dangers of traveling next week for spring break.

Madelyn Anetrella, a senior from Old Hickory, Tenn., had planned to visit Ireland. Her family persuaded her to cancel the trip in light of escalating global tension, she said.

Anetrella said she is not happy about spending her break in Bowling Green.

“I’m very upset, very disappointed, ” she said. “The tickets are nonrefundable … I’m planning to go in December when I graduate.”

Other students are taking extra precautions but not canceling their travel plans.

Louisville senior Greg Leppert plans on traveling throughout the northeast over spring break, with stops in New York and Toronto.

He said he doesn’t look forward to Customs inspections when he returns from Canada.

“I heard it can be a beast,” he said.

But he won’t let the threat of a terrorist attack stop him from doing what he wants to do, he said.

“I’m not worried about terrorists, per se, killing me,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me no more to travel than to stay at home.”

Mandy Guss, a Western alumna who lives in Bowling Green, is traveling to Chicago with Campus Crusade for Christ.

She said she expects her group to be alert but is confident that the city will take extra precautions.

“We do want to be safe, and we will be careful,” she said. “But it’s like being anywhere. If we’re going to get attacked, we’re going to get attacked. It could happen here or anywhere.”

Yating Chang, a study abroad adviser in the Office of International Affairs, said students should be aware of the social and political climates where they’re going.

Students can check for State Department advisories by logging on to www.travel.gov.

“Students should stay low-key and be prepared for conversations regarding U.S. policy,” she said.

Chang said students should have fun but stay alert.

“Do not let this cloud over your sky,” she said. “Enjoy your spring break, but be aware of your surroundings.”

Reach Josh Coffman at [email protected]