International Study Program implements plan for war

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    By Anne Burt

    BYU”s international travel programs have prepared for war by using a 5-step plan aiding nearly 200 students living abroad this semester and hundreds more planning to leave the United States in early May.

    “The five steps help us help students know what to do as world events intensify,” said Rodney Boynton, director of the International Study Program at BYU.

    The five-step plan is a month-old addendum to an already existing emergency plan former BYU President Rex Lee developed over ten years ago. The addendum was developed in direct relation to pending war in Iraq.

    International Study Program Five-step Plan

    -Level 1: Students are notified the University is monitoring

    safety situations abroad.

    -Level 2: The University wants information from students.

    -Level 3: Students must be alert and prepare to stay home.

    -Level 4: Students stay inside for 72-hours.

    -Level 5: Students are brought home.

    Boynton said, so far, no threat exists to any of the students and faculty living abroad in BYU”s International Studies Program. He said no terror attack, threats or massive demonstrations have been planned in the six countries where students currently reside: China, France, England, Romania, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.

    The international programs are still operating at level three, Boynton said Thursday.

    The Performing Arts and Travel Study programs begin their major international travel in early May.

    “We haven”t cancelled any programs at this time,” said George Talbot, director of Travel Studies. “We may have some that may have to if war is prolonged.”

    Travel Studies, a continuing education program, has approximately 50 programs planned this year.

    Ed Blaser, director of Performing Arts Management, Boynton and Talbot are part of daily conference calls and weekly Friday meetings that assess the safety situation of students. Information from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints security system and the U.S. State Department are discussed in the meetings.

    Blaser said members of the University”s task force follow newspapers throughout the Western Hemisphere and overseas where students and other University travelers visit.

    “The University takes this seriously and has an organization in place to assess the risk of BYU students,” Blaser said.

    In May, the Performing Arts program sends 350 students and leaders into 160 different cities throughout the world.

    Boynton describes the responsibilities of student safety surrounding the war as all consuming.

    “I”m looking at things on an hourly basis,” Boynton said.

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