Students collect donations for Katrina victims

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some students say they feel a sense of duty to help the victims.Colleen Lorance, a sophomore psychology and Spanish major, said she feels obligated to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

“I feel it’s my duty – everyone’s duty – to help out,” Lorance said.

“There are people who have lost everything – their houses, their clothes,” Lorance said.

Several donation stations have been set up campus-wide, including a table in the Student Center that has two large canisters for monetary donations and a box for canned food items and clothing.

A member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, who had friends among the victims of the hurricane, mentioned to the fraternity’s president, John Athon, the idea of setting up a table for donations.

Athon said he wanted to try to get the whole student body involved because he knew he and other members of his fraternity were not the only ones who were affected.

With more than 20 fraternity brothers from Louisiana in Kappa Sigma, Trevor Heaney, a junior entrepreneurial management, finance and marketing major said, “I felt the need to help out.”

The members of these fraternities are not the only ones donating their time and energy to the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

“I think we all have an obligation to help those in need,” Feleceia Benton, a senior theater arts and advertising/public relations major said. “Especially those who are right in front of us.

“It’s selfish for us to say we don’t want to give up our space. It’s an obligation for us to do something because we have more.”

Benton is a resident assistant in Moncrief Hall who is now living with two students from Louisiana, one from Loyola University and the other from Tulane University.

“My residents and I are asking the students in our hall to make a list of things they need and want,” Benton said. “We want to try to take care of that list.”

Benton is one of many students involved in volunteer efforts aimed at taking care of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“University Ministries wants people, especially student leaders, to get involved in specific ways,” Benton said. “The residence halls are also coming up with need-based drives.”

Lorance said that since some students do not have a lot of time to volunteer, they make time to go through their closets or to go to the grocery store to find items to donate.

“I gave clothes to a friend of mine,” Lorance said, “so she could take them to a church in New Boston.

“I also donated some money at the table in the Student Center. And some canned goods.”

Shea Mathews, a senior advertising/public relations major, said, “I did donate money to the American Red Cross since I can’t donate my time.”

One of Lorance’s best friends was one of the 57 students from Louisiana recently accepted by TCU.

“She only has the clothes on her back,” Lorance said, “and she’s already two weeks behind.”

Lorance said she is trying to get her friend involved in the TCU community so she will feel more comfortable.

Benton said there is increased obligation when there is an opportunity to help someone.

“If they are right in front of you,” Benton said, “are you going to turn them down? I would hope not.