Vermont Campus Compact Colleges Respond to the Gulf Coast
Bennington College: Bennington College opened its doors to displaced students
as well as to displaced Bennington alumni, offering a special admissions process
to students and a place for alumni to come if they needed housing. Bennington
students held a candy-gram drive, food drives, bake sales, a concert, and will be
holding a craft fair with all of the proceeds going to benefit hurricane victims.
For the off-campus (internship-based) winter term, several students are looking
into doing their internships down south to see how they can help with groups
such as Habitat for Humanity.
Burlington College: Burlington College developed a plan to assist faculty, staff,
and students in the distribution of donated materials such as food, water, and
supplies by serving as a central drop-off point. Once received, donated materials
were then delivered to the various community organizations making trips to
deliver materials to the Gulf Coast for hurricane victims.
Castleton State College: The Student Nursing Association, Social Work students,
the Social Issues Club, the Community Service Club, Support Your Troops, and
the Criminal Justice Club all participated in fund-raising projects. The men’s ice
hockey team raised $6,500 through two Skate-a-Thons at the Rutland Field
House. At the second event, Saturday, September 24, team members who had
received pledges started skating at 6 p.m. and went long into Sunday morning,
some skating for nearly eleven hours. On September 30, student Julian Defelice
delighted on the keyboard and the hot campus band Twiddle appeared at a
benefit Mardi Gras Dance complete with beads and hurricane glasses. A benefit
evening of jazz was also planned.
Champlain College: Champlain College students, faculty and staff raised more
than $9,000 for the American Red Cross for hurricane relief. Students created a
theme for a fund-raiser called “For the Price of a Cup of Coffee.” Champlain
College opened its doors to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, with two
students enrolled in Champlain’s online program and another student enrolled for
courses on campus. Champlain College collected no tuition; instead, the
students’ tuition payments continued to go to their home colleges, which
desperately needed the funds. Additionally, Champlain’s “Exploring marketing”
professor, Elaine Young, built the semester around marketing for Katrina and
local relief efforts. The class has two goals; devise a strategy for marketing the
school’s “Cup of Coffee: campaign to other organizations and create marketing
plans to raise funds for needy Vermonters as well as Katrina victims.
Community College of Vermont: CCV is one of 113 institutions offering a total of
nearly 900 online courses free to students from colleges in Louisiana, Mississippi,
and Alabama who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The idea is that threes
courses, from accredited institutions that are members of the Sloan Consortium
(supporting the advancement of online learning in higher ed), will serve as a
bridge so that displaced students can continue progress toward their degrees
this fall and resume their studies at their home institutions this spring. Tuition
was waived for the three online courses offered: American History 1, Intro to
Criminal Justice, and Modern Short Fiction.
Goddard College: Through Goddard’s People to People Katrina Project, (P2P), the
college has engaged in a long-term committed relationship with a Habitat for
Humanity Chapter in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Arrangements were made to
financially support a community-based childcare/school in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Three separate work teams traveled to Hattiesburg and helped to complete
construction on four Habitat houses that had been delayed/damaged by
Hurricane Katrina. The third work team returned on December 18, 2005. On-
going programs will continue to engage the students, staff and faculty of
Goddard with Gulf-Coast related initiatives.
Green Mountain College: Students raised over $1,000. The college worked with
the United Methodist Committee on Relief to channel the contributions to
hurricane relief and the Chaplain’s office organized “cleaning bucket” packages to
be sent for clean-up efforts. The college also offered to take up to 20 students
displaced by the hurricane for the fall semester.
Johnson State College: Johnson State College first responded on September 2,
2005, with staff taking u pa collection around campus and in just two hours,
collected $1,500 in donations. Organizers used the money to buy basic supplies
that were shipped out that day in a Vermont convoy headed to Louisiana. The
college has started a scholarship fund for students who have who have been
affected by the disaster and the fund will help support students who enroll at JSC
or another Vermont State College during the spring semester. President Murphy
is also planning to contribute $1,000 from the President’s Discretionary Fund to
support an emergency scholarship relief fund organized by the American
Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Lyndon State College: Lyndon State College offered admission to New England
students unable to attend their own school as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Lyndon State students, faculty and staff placed fund raising containers
throughout the area, and made drop boxes available for donations of canned
goods, clothing, toiletries, batteries and other items that were then sent to the
American Red Cross.
Marlboro College: Marlboro College offered five places for students from New
England who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina; however, no student affected
by the hurricane enrolled in the college. Marlboro also raised $900 in funds for
the Red Cross, and staff, students and faculty donated to a Vermont-wide
convoy of materials sent to the devastated region.
Middlebury College: In September, Middlebury College welcomed nine students
who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina; eight who were enrolled at Tulane
University and one from Dillard University. Middlebury is not charging these
students, who were asked to pay their home institution the fees that they would
normally be charged, to help Tulane and Dillard in the recovery process.
Middlebury also created a special Katrina Relief Program to make it possible for
faculty and staff to pursue volunteer work in the Gulf Coast region for up to four
weeks, while maintaining their benefits and receiving half of their salary. In
addition, faculty, staff, and students who visited a special hurricane relief page at
the Chaplain’s office web site contributed nearly $17,000.
New England Culinary Institute: NECI offered $20,000 scholarships ($10K/year)
to restaurant and hospitality professionals who were affected by the hurricane.
There was a positive response to this initiative from people in the industry
working throughout the Gulf Coast, with some students enrolling in the school’s
December term. On Saturday, October 1, the Montpelier Student Council held a
“Taste O New Orleans” benefit featuring Cajun cuisine prepared by students, a
raffle, and a silent auction. A similar event was held at NECI Commons on
Saturday, October 8, 2005. The proceeds from these and all of the relief effort
went directly to charitable organizations such as Share Our Strength and the
American Red Cross.
Norwich University: Staff members from Norwich’s Institutional Advancement
Office spent hours calling alumni from areas impacted by what had been called
the worst natural disaster in US history. These employees eventually made
contact with a number of alumni and friends of Norwich. An on-campus,
student-driven effort, Norwich United for Disaster Relief, worked to collect funds
to help hurricane victims.
Saint Michael’s College: The close connections of Saint Michael’s College and the
city of New Orleans are not widely recognized, but they are profound. The
Bishop Perry Middle School on Dauphin Street and the Saint Peter Claver Church
on St. Philips Street, both in New Orleans’ famous 9th Ward, are run by the same
order of priests who founded Saint Michael’s College. A service trip to New
Orleans is being planned by Saint Michael’s Campus Ministry as soon as is
feasible. A benefit concert was held with Boston cellist Dale Henderson and SMC
Fine Arts piano teacher Annemieke Spoelstra performing. All contributions from
the concert went to the Katrina Relief Fund.
Southern Vermont College: Student Jennifer Jones led a Teddy for Tots drive
that collected 100 stuffed animals for the child victims of Katrina. The Southern
Vermont College Office of Campus Life and Civic Engagement hosted a Family
Fund Day for the children of servicemen and women including games, face
painting, and time for talking about children’s issues.
Sterling College: Professor Anne Morse and her family offered a family housing
opportunity. The College agreed to provide food and possibly even part-time
work to the relocated family. A student traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi with a
church group for one week to unload and distribute supplies as well as prepare
and serve meals. Professors allowed the student time off from class, extensions
on assigned work, and any extra help needed to catch up with coursework. P
professor and her daughter put together a Gift of the Heart School Kit and two
Gift of the Heart Kids Kits that were distributed by Church World Services. Jay
Merrill, Admissions Counselor, organized a coin drop that raised over $460 in
relief funds for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.
University of Vermont: The University worked diligently to enroll eight Tulane
University students in classes and find housing for them after the semester had
begun and waived their tuition. The Student Government Association raised
$2,000, donating half the money to the United Way and half to the United Negro
College Fund. The Pottery Program in UVM’s Living-Learning Center organized a
“Tiles for Smiles” program with students paying $1 each to decorate donated
tiles. The event raised $1,000 for Katrina relief and 1,000 painted, glazed tiles
will be sent to New Orleans for use as d decorative elements in rebuilding efforts.
The Center for Disability and Community Inclusion led a coalition of Vermont
agencies who rounded up medical and assistive equipment for children and
adults with disabilities on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. UTM students, faculty,
and staff unloaded, cleaned, organized and packed supplies on 22 palettes,
which were then shipped to Mississippi. Two students and a staff member
traveled to New Orleans over Thanksgiving week to volunteer in a grass roots
effort organized by Common Ground to help residents rebuild. The university
supported the effort with a $1,000 gift card to Home Depot for building
equipment and supplies. Finally, the university has offered to provide housing
and office space to faculty member at Dillard University, an historically black
college in New Orleans with which UTM has an historical connection.
Vermont Law School: Vermont Law School offered to waive fall semester tuition
for up to ten law students from the gulf region. VLS is currently in discussion
with three Tulane Law School students, including one second year, J.D. program
student, and two LL.M students. VLS has offered a fall semester visiting
professor position to the Tulane Law School faculty; salary and duties for the
individual would be commensurate with VLS regular faculty. Faculty offices and
housing would be arranged as needed. VLS’s Environmental and Natural
Resources Law Clinic has offered to help its Tulane counterpart as needed. The
Vermont Law School Student Bar Association encouraged the VLS community to
donate its collective lunch money for one week to the American Red Cross.
Those making a donation received a free “PB&J” sandwich.
Vermont Technical College: Fund raising for the Red Cross garnered $2,313 for
hurricane relief. College President Allan Rodgers matched $500 in donations
given during a fund raising push on September 9 to increase the total amount
raised to $2813. Faculty worked to dialog with students about the disaster in
ways that were both personally an academically meaningful. Additionally,
donations of money and supplies enabled the staff to put together and ship95
hygiene packets. Dental hygiene student donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and
dental floss, while LPN students gathered $1,000 worth of goods that were
donated to a relief point in the Gulf Coast.
Woodbury College: Woodbury College served as a clearing house for students
and staff regarding the ways people could help, including publishing drop-off
sites for clothing and food in the student newsletter so that students could make
contributions through their local communities. Several students, as part of their
commitment to community service, volunteered at collection sites.