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Mount Holyoke Responds to Katrina

Mount Holyoke College is taking a number of steps to assess the well-being of students and alumnae and to coordinate relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including contacting affected students and alumnae and offering visiting-student status to displaced students. Seven displaced students—four from Tulane, two from Loyola, and one from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary—have been admitted to Mount Holyoke for this semester.

All Students Safe
According to Dean of the College Lee Bowie, 12 MHC students come from stricken areas; of those, seven are from areas hardest hit. Bowie's office has contacted all of these students or their families to find out how they are and express the College's concern and support. All have been reached so far. All are doing as well as might be expected under these difficult circumstances, Bowie said. Ten of the 12 will be on campus for fall classes; two are studying abroad.

At the same time, according to Executive Director Rochelle Calhoun, the Alumnae Association is checking on alumnae in the areas hit hardest by the storm. She reports that 143 alumnae live in the three states most affected by the hurricane.

"We will also be supporting students, who will most likely be working in coordination with CAUSE (Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equality), and other members of this community, to organize relief efforts—both fundraising and possibly a Service and Leadership Odyssey to help with reconstruction," Bowie said, September 1. "In addition, we'll be working with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life to organize some sort of event. We are also assessing other support services for students who have family and friends in the affected areas. Many will want to help, and to know what we are doing, so we will need to coordinate the concern and the efforts."

More about CAUSE's coordination of relief efforts, counseling services, and other activities is below.

MHC Offers Spots to Displaced Students
Mount Holyoke will offer visiting-student status to academically qualified undergraduates whose college or university enrollment has been negatively affected by Hurricane Katrina, according to Jane B. Brown, vice president for enrollment and college relations. Mount Holyoke will waive tuition for students who have already paid for the fall semester at hurricane-stricken institutions and will help make sure that these students remain eligible for federal financial aid. At the same time, the College is exploring the possibility of offering a limited number of displaced students residential status, despite being at near full capacity on campus.

For more information about enrollment at Mount Holyoke, please contact the registrar’s office at 413-538-2025.

Offering Support
MHC's counseling service at the Patty Groves Health Center will offer two drop-in support groups for students affected by the hurricane, as follows:
Thursday, September 8, 2:30–4 pm
Friday, September 9, 2–3:30 pm
For more counseling information, call x2037.

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is setting up the Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary (AIS) for Reflections on Hurricane Katrina, according to Rabbi Lisa Freitag-Keshet, chaplain to the College and adviser to the Jewish community. There will be a table with an MHC scrapbook in which community members can express their thoughts and prayers. The book will then be sent to one of the local universities in the affected areas.

How You Can Help
CAUSE is moving quickly to coordinate a relief effort to assist the victims of the hurricane devastation in the Gulf area. The CAUSE student board researched options and decided to channel their relief efforts through the American Red Cross. Everyone who can possibly help financially is encouraged to write a check to the American Red Cross (not Mount Holyoke College), make a copy of your check for tax purposes, and send it to CAUSE, Room 306, Blanchard Campus Center, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075. CAUSE will then forward the proceeds.

The Odyssey Bookshop is also exploring ways to assist students affected by Katrina with the College.

More
Anyone with information about possible housing for displaced students
or Mount Holyoke families displaced by the storm, or about the status of students in affected areas, is urged to contact Nancy Larson, assistant to the dean of the College, at 413-538-2481 or nlarson@mtholyoke.edu.

New information about the College community's response will be posted on the News and Events Web page as it becomes available. Please send updates to Sarah Barrett in the Office of Communications at scbarret@mtholyoke.edu.

Hurricane Katrina Index

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Copyright © 2006 Mount Holyoke College. This page created and maintained by Office of Communications. Last modified on June 13, 2006.