USF Joins Humanitarian Relief Efforts for Haiti

Tampa, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2009) – The University of South Florida’s long association with the people of Haiti is prompting an immediate response from students, faculty and staff to Tuesday’s devastating earthquake and campus leaders are coordinating a humanitarian relief response.

Today at 8 p.m., USF Africana Studies graduate student Robin Baldwin will moderate a live discussion with area Haitian community leaders. The discussion will include information on opportunities to contribute to relief efforts and communications local residents are receiving from family and friends in Haiti.

Club Creole is holding a candlelight vigil at the amphitheater at the Marshall Center at 9 p.m. tonight and will accept donations.

On Friday, leaders and members of the Tampa-area Haitian community will meet at 5 p.m. at the Marshall Center to discuss how to combine resources and create a list of volunteer opportunities for those eager to assist.

Club Creole plans a collection drive for the next two weeks, Jan. 14, 2010 - Jan. 28, 2010, for non perishable food items, clothing for all ages, toiletries, and first aid supplies. Boxes are being set up in the Office of Student Organizations, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Center of Leadership Engagement to collect all donated materials.


What was meant to be a lighthearted Week of Welcome event, Kompa Latina, (Friday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center) will now include time to raise awareness of the situation in Haiti and to collect donations of all kinds with the assistance of the American Red Cross. Clothing, bedding and non-perishable food items are in most demand, the group said.


On Tuesday, Jan. 19, USF’s Office of Civic Engagement will hold a collective action planning session at 5 p.m. in the Marshall Center, Room 3707. The office invites individuals and organizations to send one or two representatives to plan and carry out campus-based relief efforts.


“There are so many people who are not even affiliated with organizations stepping up and saying, ‘What can we do?’” Burke said. “We have students who are ready to go.”


To RSVP for Tuesdays Collective Action meeting, please click


For more information on these efforts, contact Club Creole's Community Service Chair Beverly Joseph at or Ginelle Saint Jean (954) 701-5108. The Office of Civic Engagement can be reached at


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.