Update: Humanitarian Relief Efforts for Haiti

Tampa, Fla. (Jan. 22, 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.

USF President Judy Genshaft said, “We want to reach out to students who have suffered loss, or simply are unable to contact their families and friends in Hait,” and recommended that any student directly or indirectly affected contact the Student Counseling Center to seek support, http://usfweb2.usf.edu/counsel/.


USF Africana Studies graduate student Robin Baldwin moderated a live discussion with area Haitian community leaders on http://ivisiontv.net/. The discussion included information on opportunities to contribute to relief efforts and communications local residents are receiving from family and friends in Haiti.

Club Creole held a candlelight vigil at the amphitheater at the Marshall Center and collected donations.

Leaders and members of the Tampa-area Haitian community met at the Marshall Center to discuss how to combine resources and created a list of volunteer opportunities for those eager to assist.

Club Creole started a collection drive on that continues through Jan. 28 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.


Week of Welcome’s, Kompa Latina, Jan. 15, included time out to raise awareness of the situation in Haiti and they collected 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.


Jan. 19, USF’s Office of Civic Engagement held a collective action planning 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.”


For more information on these efforts, contact Club Creole's Community Service Chair Beverly Joseph at choucoune55@gmail.com or Ginelle Saint Jean (954) 701-5108. The Office of Civic Engagement can be reached at cburke@admin.usf.edu.  And for the latest humanitarian assistance efforts go to www.leadandserve.usf.edu.


The various relief drives within colleges and organizations, and USF are listed at http://usfweb3.usf.edu/absolutenm/templates/?a=1941&z=31.


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.