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Meramec Students, Professor Participate in “Raid Cross” Training

December 15, 2014

Raid Cross training students  
STLCC-Meramec and Washington University students recently
participated in “Raid Cross” training through the American Red
Cross.

St. Louis Community College-Meramec sociology professor Cindy Epperson and four students took part in “Raid Cross” training, a simulation activity designed to help students understand and be aware of the realities of armed conflict and humanitarian action.

The Greater St. Louis American Red Cross provided the training.

Students participating were Joe Adlabi, Ayesha Ather, Brandon Bander and Suzan Dague.

“The two day training included eight simulations and lectures on international humanitarian law (IHL), more commonly known as the rules of war,” said Epperson, who is also an international law teaching fellow for the American Red Cross’ International Services National Headquarters.

Ather said that the Raid Cross training and education was insightful.

“Living in a developed nation, we are so disconnected to the realities and struggles of war. We watch, perhaps, a 10-second clip on CNN or a documentary here and there, but the realities of it are so much more real than we will probably ever know,” she said. “Through the simulations and the stories of Red Cross workers we heard, it was eye-opening that the effects of war are not selective. It crosses all economic and social divisions. You could be a college student, or a wealthy business owner, or even just a child, and once war in your nation begins, it can change your entire life overnight and you have absolutely no control over what could happen. Regular people end up as prisoners of war, refugees and even soldiers. But overall, all you can think of is how you and your loved ones can survive.”

One of the simulations had students act as refugees attempting to escape war. Students had to write on four pieces of paper the things that meant the most to them. Items were taken from the students one by one, leaving them with only one item.

“We learned that in war civilians cannot choose what happens,” Ather said. “You can lose anything at any given moment depending on the circumstances. In the end you may not even have what matters the most to you.”

Epperson said the students who participated in the training will create an IHL project in early 2015 that will be shared with the STLCC-Meramec community during the spring 2015 semester through classes, campus activities and social media. She added that the long-term plan is to continue teaching basic IHL knowledge to students through the project.