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Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus Responds to Crisis in Haiti

Relief Efforts and Support Services to Include Fundraisers, Counseling and Special Events

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Brian Harmon,Director of Public Relations
Brooklyn Campus,
Long Island University
718-488-1418

Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus has embarked on a campus-wide relief effort to help ease the pain and suffering in Haiti in the wake of last week’s disastrous earthquake.

It’s estimated that more than 200,000 Haitians died in the catastrophe, with hundreds of thousands of others injured or homeless, or both. The heartbreaking stories and disturbing images of the devastated nation have had a particular impact on the Brooklyn Campus, which educates hundreds of students of Haitian descent.

"We feel compelled to do something to help the people of Haiti to gain some semblance of normalcy and to help their country to get back on its feet," Brooklyn Campus Provost Gale Stevens Haynes said, "just as we are compelled to look after those of our students who are so closely affected by the tragedy. The burden of grief they carry must be overwhelming."

The Campus has developed a variety of initiatives to raise money and supplies to aid in the crisis response; to boost awareness of the living conditions in the poverty-stricken country; and to assist students, faculty members and administrators affected by the catastrophe.

"We all could have been in that position — most of the Haitians here now are one generation away from being on that island," said Brooklyn Campus student Bradley Joseph, 19, who lost two uncles and many family friends in the earthquake.

Joseph, president of the Brooklyn Campus’ Haitian Students Association, said it was heartbreaking watching his grandmother receive the telephone call that brought word of her sons’ deaths.

"My hope is that everybody can come together and work toward the goal of helping Haiti," said Joseph of Crown Heights.

Numerous student and faculty groups are collecting donations for Haiti, a health-related relief team of students and professors is expected to travel to the country during the spring, and two on-campus fundraising events — a performance by Bryonn Bain on January 29 at the Kumble Theater and a February 23 reading and concert at the Schwartz Athletic Center — have been scheduled.

The funds raised will be forwarded to five highly regarded organizations leading in the relief effort: the American Red Cross; Doctors Without Borders; Yéle Haiti Foundation; UNICEF; and Evangelique de Bethel, a nonprofit located in Haiti. University Health & Medical Services will continue this week to provide crisis counseling and support services to students, faculty and administrators.

Brooklyn Campus Relief Efforts and Services Launched in Response to the Crisis in Haiti

  • University Health & Medical Services has been providing crisis counseling and support services to students, faculty and administrators.
  • The Student Government Association (SGA) is working with the Student Council, the Haitian Club, Helping Hands and the Political Science Club to collect money and clothing for Haiti, and have set up collection tables across campus. Student Life & Leadership Development, Residence Life & Housing, University Health and Medical Services, International Students and the Advantage After School Program also are collecting contributions. The cash collected by students will be forwarded to the Office of Bursar, and Long Island University will issue checks to the charitable groups.
  • Long Island University Brooklyn Dining Service is collecting donations at three campus eateries and will match up to $2,000 of the total collected at the dining locations. Students can use cash, credit or dining dollars to donate as little as $1 at Quiznos, Blackbird Café and Luntey Commons. These funds will be forwarded to the American Red Cross.
  • The Brooklyn Campus’ School of Nursing and School of Health Professions are mounting an effort to send a team of faculty members and students to Haiti during spring break or at the end of the semester.
  • The SGA also has set up a Facebook account to field questions and to provide information related to relief efforts.
  • On January 29, the Political Science Club and various student groups will host the 7 p.m. performance of "Lyrics from Lockdown" by Bryonn Bain at the Kumble Theater. Bain, a prison activist, spoken word poet, hip-hop artist, actor, author and educator from Brooklyn, will make a formal pitch to the audience for relief donations. The event also will feature a silent auction, which will allow participants to bid on selected items.
  • Long Island University has given each of its employees the opportunity to contribute a payroll deduction specifically toward the relief effort in Haiti.
  • Authors Jayne Cortez, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Yolaine St. Fort, Sandra Maria Esteves and Willie Perdomo have committed to participating at a February 23 fundraising event at the Schwartz Athletic Center.
  • Student Life and Leadership Development is collaborating with WLIU-BK (88.1 FM) to host a live show this month for the Haitian crisis. The show will be offered in English and Creole, and will feature guest speaker Joanne Hippolite. Listeners will be told how to obtain information on the whereabouts of missing persons and will learn how to donate to the relief efforts via a text message.
  • The Campus Activities Program and other student organizations are planning to hold a fundraiser/information day to coincide with the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ double-header on February 18. Students will be asked to wear blue and red on that day to show unity and to raise awareness. The day will conclude with a fundraising rally.

The Brooklyn Campus is distinguished by...
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.

Posted 01/21/2010

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