Local schools assist student victims of Katrina

The University of La Verne and the Claremont Colleges are just a few local institutions in Southern California extending aid to students and others affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The colleges each have certain criteria for accepting the students, but overall they want to help the effort on the Gulf Coast as much as possible.

ULV Executive Vice President Philip Hawkey said the University has offered to accept students affected by Katrina, but has been cautious to avoid seemingly “poaching” these students from their original institutions.

“We don’t want to entice students to give up their Gulf area experiences,” Hawkey said. “We have made the offer available, but we are not going out and recruiting. We want to assist these students and want the colleges to know we’re just trying to help.”

Hawkey said that if a student paid the tuition to his or her home institution and did not receive a refund, ULV would allow that student to attend the University free for the semester that he or she would enroll.

Lead Admissions Representative Andrew Woolsey said the Office of Admissions had talked to a “handful of students,” originally from Southern California, who attended or planned to attend institutions affected by the hurricane; however, none have yet to apply.

In addition, faculty, students and members of the La Verne community have helped organize local hands-on efforts.

The University’s Campus Minister Deborah Roberts has spearheaded various projects for the ULV community, including the assembly of various health kits and care packages.

Roberts said there are also plans to establish a committee in the near future, comprised of various ULV faculty and students, as well as businesses and churches in the La Verne community.

“(The committee) will see what other long-term options we might want to collaborate on, in order to support those who no longer have homes in New Orleans and the surrounding areas,” Roberts said.

Other local universities have also made efforts to help hurricane victims.

Claremont McKenna has accepted five visiting students, who started classes the week after evacuating.

These students, two freshmen and three sophomores, originally attended Tulane University or Loyola University New Orleans.

“We were particularly grateful for the overwhelming response from our community, with students offering to share dorm rooms, as well as housing offers from faculty and staff,” Claremont McKenna spokeswoman Evie Lazzarino said. “They have settled in and are very welcome members of the CMC community.”

Lazzarino also said Claremont McKenna students have organized events, such as a blood drive, a student-faculty barbecue and an alumni network to match donations with need.

Pomona College welcomed two students affected by the hurricane, both of whom enrolled as visiting students.

After the disaster, the college publicized on statewide public radio and the Internet that the college would not charge tuition if students affected by the hurricane had already paid their home institution.

“If the student had not paid the home institution,” Pomona College spokeswoman Cynthia Peters said, “Pomona would charge the home institution’s rate of tuition and remit that amount to the home institution.”

Pomona College also requested that students applied by Sept. 8 and arrived on campus by Sept. 11, Peters said.

Scripps College also publicly stated that the school would be able to accept “up to five students from colleges closed because of Hurricane Katrina as visiting students for the fall semester.”

The college said it would waive these students’ tuition, as well as provide a transcript of the academic work the students complete to the home university.

However, Scripps College said that housing was unavailable due to overcrowding. The ?college suggested that some residents may volunteer to house these students.

Meanwhile, Pitzer College accepted two female students, originally from Xavier University of Louisiana, allowing them to attend on full scholarships, Pitzer spokeswoman Susan Andrews said.

“The five undergraduate and two graduate campuses are making individual efforts to assist visiting students from universities that are closed for the fall, or perhaps longer,” said Laura Skandera Trombley, president of Pitzer College and chair of the Council of Presidents of the Claremont Colleges.

ULV President Stephen Morgan also commended the University’s efforts.

“I am encouraged by the outpouring of assistance, both from the ULV community and throughout the world,” Morgan said. “Through the continuing generosity, support and commitment of so many concerned individuals, the residents of the Gulf Coast region will find the strength to rebuild their lives and their communities.”

Tracy Spicer can be reached at tspicer@ulv.edu.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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