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Hurricane Katrina: KSC Relief Efforts Under Way

Keene, N.H. 9/2/05 - In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, officials at Keene State College have offered assistance to the families of two Keene students enrolled at the University of New Orleans this fall. The College is also talking with the family of a third student, a junior at Loyola University (New Orleans), about the possibility of enrolling as visiting students for the Fall 2005 semester.

The families of former Keene High School students Christopher (C.J.) Gauthier, and Nick Sarsfield were contacted on Wednesday, said Karen House, associate vice president for financial services, who kicked off the relief effort. “Keene State is best able to offer support to local students affected by the disaster,” she said, “We’ve focused our efforts on offering help to recent graduates of local area high schools who might not be able to attend their university in the affected region. Hopefully they can avoid a delay or disruption in their education, and transfer our credits back to their home institution when it’s operational again.”

Although Keene State’s classes for the fall semester have begun, the College is willing to expedite enrollment and provide academic advising, counseling, and orientation for the affected students, said House. “Living on campus may also be a possibility for them,” she said. “Details are yet to be worked out and will be finalized after meeting with the families.”

The length of time Keene State will be able to help will depend on what the students want to do as they get a sense of when or whether they will be able to return to the University of New Orleans, said House.

Gauthier’s family in particular are keen to discuss the option and are likely to visit the campus on Tuesday, said Peggy Richmond, director of admissions.

For more information, contact Karen House at 358-2045 or Peggy Richmond at 358-2273.

Keene State students are among New Hampshire National Guardsmen being called for active duty to support the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. It will be a two-week deployment. The College will work with these students to ensure that their academic needs are met during and following their deployment. For more information, call Andy Robinson, associate vice president for student affairs, at 358-2842.

Among other relief efforts at the College:

A campus-wide meeting to discuss fund-raising and relief approaches will be held on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 12:30 p.m. at a venue to be announced in the Student Center. The meeting will be moderated by Corinne Kowpak, vice president for student affairs, and Don Hayes, community services coordinator. For more information, contact Hayes at 358-2665. Members of the public are invited to attend.

A fund-raising effort for victims of the disaster, organized by the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the student community service club Circle K, will be held next week, Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 6-7, in the Student Center atrium. Members of these organizations will sell “Wave of Hope” bracelets.

Staff from the Office of Campus Safety are sending their old and excess uniforms to the Madison County’s Sheriff’s Department (Mississippi), who were affected by the hurricane. These were shipped on Friday.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435