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 Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Campus Community Unites to Meet Hurricane Needs
By Vanessa Lozano, senior, School of Journalism and Mass Communication<

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the CU-Boulder community has quickly responded with remarkable volunteer efforts to collect contributions and offer valuable expertise, while welcoming displaced students to the campus.

The university extended the enrollment deadline in order to accept students who had planned on attending New Orleans schools this semester. Thirty-five Colorado residents were among the 142 undergraduates and three law students admitted to CU-Boulder after being displaced by the hurricane. Off-Campus Student Services is helping these students and their families to find free and discounted housing in the Boulder area.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, student organizations, faculty, staff and community members came together to form "CU Hurricane Relief." The organization has been gathering monetary donations for the American Red Cross, the United Way and the Salvation Army. The group also created a Web site to coordinate hurricane-related events for potential volunteers.

Several student groups have sponsored collection tables and the Black Student Alliance organized a candlelight vigil. A trip to the Gulf Coast sponsored by the Christian student group Fuel has been scheduled for fall break.

Students haven't been the only ones planning ways to help. During the CU-CSU football game, the Athletic Department collected $42,800 worth of donations for the American Red Cross, according to Maureen Finn, athletics program assistant.

"It was a complete community effort," said Finn, "there were about 40 volunteers from the campus and Boulder communities."

A book drive organized by the School of Education generated about 5,300 books for children staying in the Houston Astrodome. Additionally, the school held a book fair in conjunction with Barnes and Noble bookstore and raised $8,000 for the Houston Independent School District.

The School of Law plans to donate large legal volumes to academic and government offices that were damaged or destroyed during the hurricane. The school had previously intended on recycling the materials before the opening of the new Wolf Law Building.

Furthermore, the university has offered its expertise to various media outlets covering the devastation. Eleven CU-Boulder specialists have been available as contacts for the media on topics such as natural hazards, oil and gas, disasters and pets, economic impacts and engineering of levees.

CU-Boulder faculty and staff have participated in numerous media interviews since late August. For example, Kathleen Tierney, sociology professor and director of CU-Boulder's Natural Hazards Center, has participated in interviews with Dateline NBC, National Public Radio and BBC Radio, among others. Dennis Mileti, senior research scientist at the Natural Hazards Center, spoke with Time Magazine for the cover story of their September 12 issue. CNN also used an image produced by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research during their on-air programming. The image shows the track of Hurricane Rita through the Gulf of Mexico. The CCAR produced a similar image of Hurricane Katrina.

Additionally, 10 Quick Response studies on hurricanes Katrina and Rita are being funded by CU-Boulder's Natural Hazards Center, including the examination of emergency management coordination and the investigation of emergency operations of animal shelters.

The hurricane has affected many individuals on campus, both directly and indirectly. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is available for community members wishing to discuss the impacts of the hurricane. Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Victim Assistance and the Center for Multicultural Affairs also sponsor a Hurricane Survivor's Group every Thursday at 6 p.m. in Willard 231.

For a summary of additional campus relief efforts visit CU-Boulder Hurricane Relief Information. For more information on CU Hurricane Relief visit CU Hurricane Relief. To learn more about free or discounted housing visit Off-Campus Student Services. For full coverage on CU-Boulder's response to Hurricane Katrina visit CU-Boulder Responds to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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