BY: Sonny, Zoe, Danielle, and Ally
A graduate course offered at New York University requires students to write a 10-15 page paper focused on how they would hypothetically attack the United States. The course, Transnational Terrorism, is designed to “teach students -including law enforcement officers- how to anticipate and counter terrorism,” according to the University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Marie-Helen Maras teaches this course at New York University. She was a former Navy criminal investigator before she became a professor. Her idea is that if one puts themselves in the mindset of a terrorist they will be better able to stop them. “The exercise is meant to prepare students for the field, to prepare them for careers in intelligence, policing, counter-terrorism,” Maras said.
Although Maras does not have bad intentions, there are other ways to prepare instead of being extreme about her teaching methods. It is very offensive especially because campus is less than two miles from ground zero. Many have lost loved ones due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Students affected might object to an assignment that hits so close to home.
Perhaps the students should write a book detailing the account of murdering their wife and dog. Oh wait, OJ Simpson already did that.
The University stated that the assignment has been given to other universities and government agencies. This was their reasoning for assigning the paper. It is not sensible to trust college students akin to how one would trust a government official.
The University should seek other ways to teach a subject that is dangerous and controversial. To some this may be a good hands-on approach to educate students about terrorism, but there is simply too much risk involved to go through with the assignment.