McNeese State University is actively participating in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts of the Lake area. Here are just a few of the areas of involvement:
- McNeese has enrolled 224 displaced students.
- McNeese?'s facilities (Recreation Complex, Burton Coliseum) are sheltering evacuees or persons assisting with the relief effort.
- McNeese police staff and facilities staff are working to coordinate and manage the relief efforts at these facilities.
- The McNeese Foundation has established the Katrina Hurricane Student Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to displaced students.
- McNeese is housing 150 military police, National Guard and Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals personnel.
- The McNeese library is ensuring that computers are available for use by evacuees.
- McNeese Counseling Center is reaching out to students.
- Faculty and staff have sheltered evacuees in their homes.
- Faculty, staff and students have volunteered many hours working at the shelters.
- Employees have made donations in all categories ? money, furniture, food, clothing, medicines, school supplies, etc.
- Faculty have assisted student scheduling by offering special topics courses for students who are upperclassmen and need specific course work for their degrees.
- Faculty are providing transportation for evacuees.
- Faculty are sponsoring a "story time" at the Burton shelter.
- A faculty member posted a request on a national society Web site's "Katrina Alert" section to have textbooks and lab manuals sent for students.
- Faculty assisted McNeese radiologic technology graduate with job relocation information.
- A faculty member has collected food and supplies for animals that were evacuated.
- McNeese blue/gold peer leaders volunteered their time to serve as personal tour guides and hosts for each displaced student who enrolled at McNeese. They accompanied each student to all classes and introduced them to the services available on campus.
- McNeese students are mentoring the displaced students and networking to form study and support groups.
- Mass communication department set up a Katrina blog on the Web, which has had over 1,500 hits.
- A speech class is creating a "Non-Profit Agency" speech to inform students about agencies in the Lake area.
- Faculty held catch up sessions for students entering classes after normal registration.
- Dietetic interns are working at all shelters and hospitals.
- Student Services held a Howdy Rowdy Welcome Night, which brought together representatives from student organizations, potential parttime employers, banking institutions and campus services.
- Campus ministries, fraternities, sororities, SGA, SUB and honor societies have volunteered at shelters, provided temporary housing, assisted students in transitioning to residence halls, given blood.
- SGA organized a campuswide supplies and clothing drive and distributed to local shelters and to displaced students.
- SGA sponsored a candlelight vigil for displaced students.
- MSU students are providing tutoring for K-12 evacuees and reading to children.
- Nursing faculty and students are assisting in the coordination and management of the Calcasieu Disaster Clinic located in the College of Nursing Community Clinic.
- Nursing students received and inventoried donated medications for the clinic.
Displaced College Students
If you are a college student enrolled for the fall semester, you can contact www.helpkatrinastudents.org or call 1-877-883-5634. They are working to place students in colleges and universities in Texas and Louisiana. The deadline for late registration at many universities is September 13th, so students are encouraged to call as soon as possible.
Online courses for displaced students
The Sloan Consortium, an international association of colleges and universities committed to quality online education, is offering students displaced by Hurricane Katrina an opportunity to continue their education at no cost. In collaboration with the Southern Regional Education Board and with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the special accelerated program will provide a wide range of courses to serve the learning needs of students at the community college, university and graduate level, regardless of academic discipline. These courses will be given by major universities and other Sloan Consortium members. Students interested in finding out more about the program and the free courses can log on to www.SloanSemester.org.