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USC reaches out to Katrina victims

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and its horrific aftermath, the Trojan community has taken multiple steps to reach out to affected Gulf Coast residents and students.

The university has announced a program that will enable approximately 100 displaced students affected by the hurricane to attend classes at USC while earning credit at their home institutions. More than 30 colleges and universities in the region have been damaged by the hurricane and flooding, with more than 100,000 students displaced.

USC President Steven B. Sample said the university is trying to accommodate the needs of students and their families without causing long-term financial damage to the Gulf Coast colleges and universities.

“We have been working closely with higher education associations and university officials from Gulf Coast institutions to find the best way to make a meaningful contribution,” Sample said.

In addition, USC officials are offering to provide technology and expertise to affected colleges and universities so that they will be able to provide students with distance education options until on-campus classes can reconvene.

Members of the university community have organized multiple relief funds and donation outreaches for Katrina victims.

Approximately 200 enrolled USC students have homes and family that have been directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. In response, the Office of Student Affairs has offered counseling, logistical help and other assistance.

“The Trojan community has responded with its characteristic compassion and resourcefulness to the catastrophe,” Sample said. “I want to commend the USC students, faculty and staff who have so quickly, deftly and caringly organized these relief efforts. This is true Trojan Spirit in action.”
Faculty and students can help in various ways:

Salvation Army: Tables set up around the University Park campus are accepting monetary donations for the Salvation Army’s hurricane relief effort. Tables will be set up at the following locations and times through Sept. 19:

Hahn Plaza near Tommy Trojan, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lyon Center, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
School of Social Work, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
Student Senate Office (STU 106), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Topping Student Center, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

USC Volunteer Center: The USC Volunteer Center is accepting donations of clothing, shoes, books, toys, games, toiletries, diapers and baby formula, which will be distributed to the 20,000 people at shelters in Florida. Contact the center at (213) 740-7012 to offer help or for further information.

USC College Relief Fund: USC College has established a relief fund that will offer scholarship aid, as well as other means of support, to help USC students and their families affected by Katrina. Call (213) 740-2531 for more information.

Red Cross donations via USC Credit Union: The USC Credit Union has made it possible for members of the USC Family to contribute to the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief effort through

Academic Senate: The Academic Senate Executive Board will be raising funds to assist faculty colleagues in need at Tulane University. For more information, call (213) 740-7169.

Events: Two on-campus events will honor the hurricane victims. A Candlelight Vigil takes place Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. at Tommy Trojan. At noon on Sept. 19, a musical concert will be held at Hahn Plaza, where donations will be collected.

KUSC: The station is joining an effort organized by the National Association of Broadcasters to air weekly announcements asking for donations to the Red Cross and Salvation Army for hurricane Katrina relief.

For more on relief efforts, visit

USC reaches out to Katrina victims

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