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Ivy Leaguers were evacuated first from Lebanon

Published: Friday July 21, 2006

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Ivy Leaguers were evacuated first from Lebanon by private security firms, while students from other schools had to wait days for the United States Embassy to make arrangements, according to ABC News.

"When fighting broke out in Lebanon, college students studying there for the summer anxiously awaited their turn to evacuate," reports ABC's The Blotter. "As it turns out, if you were an Ivy League student in Beirut, your turn came first."

"Harvard, Princeton and Yale are insured by International SOS and Medex, two private security companies," reports the Blotter.

International SOS have organized three evacuations since last Saturday. A press release says that the firm's Lebanon Crisis Management team includes "50 people across different alarm centres and on the ground" who "have worked round the clock to achieve the mission of providing support to our clients and moving them to a safe environment."

"Arriving with well-equipped teams, these companies arranged everything for students from land- and air-route evacuations, to hotel rooms, to cold bottles of water at the Syrian border," ABC's The Blotter reports.

"International SOS did a fantastic job," Robert Mitchell, Director of Communications at Harvard University, told ABC.

Students left behind were upset at their schools and the government.

"One student who wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons said, 'It was unfair that the private, wealthy schools were afforded the luxury of a quick evacuation,'" ABC reports. "Both her university and her government, she says, failed to help her out of a dangerous situation."

One Harvard student who was evacuated quickly by International SOS still wasn't happy with the government.

In an email to ABC, the student said that the situation in Lebanon "has shown how horrible the State Department has been in evacuating people…keeping people informed and not causing a state of panic."