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September 25, 2005Print Article

La Salle University Pitches in to Help Hurricane Katrina Victims

It is no surprise that La Salle University would be taking all steps necessary to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Since a core value of the university is service, many students and staff, as expected, have embraced the effort to help.

“We'll need to commit to service for the long run, and so it's important that we build and, then, sustain efforts that can have or stimulate lasting impacts,” said Joseph Cicala, Dean of Students at La Salle. “I believe members of the La Salle University community, particularly our students, have responded and will continue to respond in association to the needs of our brothers and sisters who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina.”

The University has taken in three displaced students from the affected area, providing free tuition and board. The students came with little to no belongings, so La Salle’s Resident Student Association donated school supplies and clothes. Each student also has a mentor from the Community Development Office to guide them through this transition.

La Salle aimed to raise $5,000 to support relief efforts and surpassed it. So far, $5,300 has been collected. The Point, a committee of seven student organizations that meet regularly with Cicala and speak on behalf of the student body, is heading the fundraising efforts, receiving contributions from the campus community and student organizations. So far, $2,700 has been raised. The Point hopes to raise the $5,000 by October 29, Homecoming Day at La Salle University.

La Salle’s Alumni Association has donated $1,000 in the names of the 69 alumni who live in the affected area.

Students in La Salle’s Leadership and Global Understanding (LGU) program, asked the program director, Robert Vogel, a professor of education at La Salle, what they could do to help the victims of Katrina. A friend of Vogel’s was holding a clothing drive at his residence, the St. James Apartments in Philadelphia, for the Katrina victims. Vogel and five LGU students spent an evening sorting and packing clothes. Since LGU strives to instill values of leadership in its students, Vogel was very impressed by the students’ “initiative to reach out” and becoming “engaged citizens.”

Along with monetary and service efforts, the University’s Office of University Ministry and Service (UMAS) organized a prayer vigil on September 7, and has started an online book of prayers for the victims.

Plans have already begun for the fall blood drive (to be one of the biggest the University has conducted). UMAS is also looking into service trips that can be planned to have La Salle students help with the relief efforts.

For more information, visit http://www.lasalle.edu/students/point/.

by: Michelle Bauer