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U opens arms (and doors) for victims of hurricane
By Rick Moore
Published on September 6, 2005; updated on September 13, 2005
As the scope of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina is unfolding, the University of Minnesota community is responding accordingly with a wide range of efforts to provide relief to the storm's countless victims.
On Sept. 2, President Robert Bruininks sent a message to the entire U community asking everyone to help. "As the Mississippi headwaters state, we have a special connection and obligation to assist those in the Mississippi delta region," Bruininks said in the message. "My hope is that the entire University community can get involved in this important humanitarian effort."
On Sept. 1, the Twin Cities campus announced an emergency admissions policy designed to allow qualified students enrolled at colleges and universities affected by the hurricane to attend the U of M as early as this fall semester, which began Sept. 6. The U is continuing to review requests for undergraduate admission on a case-by-case basis (To view the latest updates to the policy, see Admissions.) As of midday Sept. 8, approximately 45 students had been admitted to the University, including a large number from Tulane University in New Orleans.
On Sept. 9, the Board of Regents approved a resolution to waive tuition for incoming students. The waiver applies only to those students who have already paid tuition to higher education institutions that are now closed. So far, the University has been able to provide on-campus housing for all of the newly admitted students who aren't staying with relatives.
The Graduate School has also adopted a policy of flexibility in trying to accommodate as many students as possible (see Graduate School for details), and professional schools on the Twin Cities campus are working with their professional associations to accommodate students on a case-by-case basis.
If you wish to contribute to relief
efforts, you may contact the following
Minnesota Helps Fund
American Red Cross
Noah's Wish (to help animals)
United Methodist Committee on Relief
The University played a leadership role in last Friday's "Storm Aid: Minnesota's River of Relief." Working with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association, the U helped sponsor the "radiothon" on the Washington Avenue Bridge that raised more than $867,000 for victims the hurricane. During the event, University experts conducted more than 200 interviews.
Elsewhere around the University:
- The University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD), announced on Friday an emergency admissions policy similar to that on the Twin Cities campus to assist students already admitted to or enrolled at colleges and universities affected by the hurricane. UMD is handling each request on a case-by-case basis, and is working to the best of its ability to admit qualified students for fall 2005 or spring 2006 semester. Since Friday, UMD has received two inquiries, and one student has been admitted. For more information, see UMD emergency admissions policy
- The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC), also has stated
that it would welcome students who are enrolled at colleges
affected by the hurricane, and that students interested in
attending UMC could be admitted up until Sept. 13--the last day to
add a class.
On Saturday (Sept. 10), during Golden Eagle Days from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., UMC will be collecting non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and first aid items (but no clothing) at the information tent. All items will be going to Mississippi on a truck in the next week (in connection with the Crookston Community Hurricane Katrina Relief Drive). In addition, cash donations will be collected at the Information Desk in the Student Center, with all monies being donated to the American Red Cross. This will continue for the next several weeks.
- On the campus of the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), Vice Chancellor Sandy Olson-Loy convened a broad group of faculty, students, and staff, to coordinate a number of efforts to help hurricane victims. One of several fund-raising initiatives being considered is a benefit UMM-community meal in the coming weeks.
- The School of Public Health is part of a network of schools of public health nationwide that has agreed to help students of Tulane's School of Public Health, which is closed for the semester.
- Dean Robert Elde and Associate Dean Robin Wright of the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) are looking into a way to organize a CBS effort to offer living, lab, and office space to faculty and students at Tulane and other universities affected by Hurricane Katrina.
- The U's Carlson School of Management will host a Katrina relief fundraiser in collaboration with the American Red Cross on Thursday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Carlson School atrium, 321 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. The event is open to all University students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. Participants will be encouraged to donate money or sign up to volunteer with the American Red Cross for the hurricane relief efforts. For more information, contact Morgan Kinross-Wright at 612-624-0011.
- The Department of Art History on the Twin Cities campus voted to allocate the entire fund that would have supported faculty research to instead support a qualified Tulane art history graduate student. If the use of funding is approved by the College of Liberal Arts and a student is identified, he or she would have an RA appointment in the department while taking graduate classes this fall.
- The Institute for Advanced Study is inviting colleagues displaced by Hurricane Katrina to apply for short-term fellowships, beginning immediately.
To read about the University of Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps, which has been on standby awaiting deployment to provide primary medical care services for victims of Hurricane Katrina, visit MRC. The first 20 MRC volunteers were scheduled to depart for Louisiana on Sept. 14.