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About 700 college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina are now enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and more are continuing to receive help.

Dean of Enrollment Management Dan Rosenfield said even though enrollment has ended, he is still available to help displaced students find universities that are still accepting students.

Students displaced should contact the Office of Enrollment Management for further options. Rosenfield can be reached by phone at (337) 482-5912 or by email at dan@louisiana.edu. In addition, more information on these universities can be found on the Louisiana Board of Regents website at www.regents.state.la.us.

Because of the influx of displaced students, UL Lafayette officials are exploring the need for compressed courses to start in possibly last September or October. These courses would run “double time” for the second half of the semester and would be general education courses rather than specific courses.

Those students enrolled at UL Lafayette will get some help with school supplies, thanks to an initiative started by current students. On Thursday, student government leaders along with the Alumni Association and the Dean of Students Office collected items like notebooks, pencils and book bags during a Student Relief Drive.

“ The community of Lafayette and the community of faculty, staff and students at UL Lafayette really came out in full support,” said Trumaine Thomas, president of the Student Government Association.

On campus, the group collected items at the corner of Rex Street and St. Mary Boulevard. Later in the day, they stationed themselves near Blackham Coliseum. The result was a truckload of school supplies to be distributed to displaced college, high school and elementary students in Lafayette.

Thomas said some of the supplies would be distributed to college students during orientation sessions next week. Also during orientation, displaced students will have an opportunity to participate in the Cajun Buddy program, which partners current students with displaced students.

“ Basically, a buddy is a friend who can show you around campus and the community,” said Thomas. “It’s someone to welcome you to the university and the community.”

AmeriCorps students know all about volunteering and helping neighbors. The national program is based on community service.

Members are providing non-stop volunteer service at the Cajundome which is home to thousands of evacuees. In conjunction with the United Way and the American Red Cross, members are directing volunteers to the areas where they can be used most, such as donation distribution and registration tables.

According to AmeriCorps Coordinator Judd Jeansonne, members are deployed around the clock, working around class schedules to provide volunteer efforts 24-hours a day at the Cajundome.

A little more than a week ago, members had an orientation, and this is the first major project the team has taken on. Once efforts are stabilized, AmeriCorps members have plans to help with youth programs in the Cajundome.

In addition, students from the College of Nursing and the Child and Family Studies program are helping with relief efforts at the Cajundome.

Hurricane Katrina Student Relief Fund

Many current UL Lafayette students from New Orleans and other areas of South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast suffered damages from this disastrous hurricane. The UL Lafayette Foundation's Hurricane Katrina Student Relief Fund has been established to help these students. All donations to this fund will directly assist students who have been affected by this catastrophic storm.

To donate to this special relief fund by credit card, simply fill out the information here. If you want to donate by check, please make your check payable to UL Lafayette Foundation and include the notation “Hurricane Katrina Student Relief Fund” on your check. You can mail your check to:
Hurricane Katrina Student Relief Fund

c/o UL Lafayette Office of Development
P.O. Drawer 43410
Lafayette, LA 70504

Events

On Wednesday, United Campus Ministries will hold a candlelight vigil in the Quad at 8 p.m. Organizers said the vigil will be a time of reflection and sharing by those who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina and those who have been helping with relief efforts. The community is invited to participate.

On Thursday and Friday, two new student orientation sessions will be held for displaced students. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, students will learn more about advising, financial help and campus life. Both sessions will be in the Student Union Ballroom on campus.

The Continuing Education Program of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions of UL Lafayette will present a series of 9 continuing education programs each year. Each program provides 6 CEs, which you may need to renew your license.

The college is offering displaced RNs a free registration for either the October, November, or December programs. This is a $70 value. Registration is required and participants should bring a driver's license as proof of previous address in the evacuated areas. Call the College of Nursing, at 482-6682 for dates and titles of the programs.

Business Sense

Two centers at UL Lafayette are doing what they can to help businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (MEPoL) has been gathering information on resources available for Louisiana businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina. Businesses can log on to http://www.mepol.org/site172.php for that listing, or visit www.mepol.org. To add to the listing, contact Danielle Pontiff at danielle@mepol.org.

The Center for Business and Information Technologies has retooled its web portal www.AccessLouisiana.com to help businesses with relocation. The center has developed a commercial listing of buildings available immediately for relocation of displaced businesses. In addition, the center is using www.AccessLouisiana.com as a platform to administer surveys to displaced businesses. The idea is to get an inventory of their needs so they can become operational in the coming months. Likewise, surveys are being given to businesses who can assist displaced companies. For more information, visit http://www.AccessLouisiana.com.

More Relief

Here are other ways UL Lafayette is helping:
• Housing for medics and Waterford Nuclear Power Plant workers in Bancroft Hall
• Housing for National Guard on Fraternity Row
• Housing for pets at Blackham Coliseum
• Housing for primates from Tulane University at the New Iberia Research Center

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