‘Nova Nation extends a helping hand to Gulf victims

Erica Dolson

Phil Consuegra and Brian Lamsback, ‘Nova Nation Committee co-chairs, organized and executed a massive fundraiser which raised $10, 000 for Hurricane Katrina victims. The event was held around the Oreo on Sept. 7.

In three and a half hours, the University community donated a total of $5,000 to help the victims of this tragedy. This initial $5,000 was matched by the Luckow Family Foundation to reach the final total.

Consuegra and Lamsback stood at the Oreo with music playing and microphones in hand and relied on the generosity of Villanovans. Consuegra and Lamsback told the story that the first donation of the day was $20. When they said they did not have change, the donor simply replied that no change was needed.

“I didn’t see much action from Villanova immediately after the hurricane,” said Consuegra of the inspiration for this fundraiser.

The hurricane in New Orleans affected Consuegra in a special way. “I am a transfer student from Loyola, New Orleans. I spent my freshman year in New Orleans; it couldn’t have been better. [The] people are wonderful. It’s a wonderful city,” he said.

According to Lamsback, there was no executive board needed to organize this event; nor was any incentive needed. “People care. Villanova came,” he said.

“We could not have done this without Rebecca Ray,” Lamsback said. While Consuegra and Lamsback were the masters of ceremony for the fundraiser, Ray, working in conjunction with Villanova’s Campus Activities Team (CAT), worked behind the scenes taking care of advertising and staffing for the event.

The ‘Nova Nation Committee is a sub-committee of the Student Government Association (SGA). The committee was brought back for this 2005-06 academic year after a one-year hiatus.

The purpose of ‘Nova Nation is to bring Villanova’s campus together.

While athletics is one of the chief ways to unite students, Consuegra and Lamsback are also trying different approaches.

“We look to unite people, not just through athletics, but through community service like that Sept. 7 day,” Consuegra said.

There are 13 members on the ‘Nova Nation committee. Consuegra and Lamsback had limited experience with SGA before this year.

Lamsback gives credit to the SGA executive officers, Jon Ambrose and Jeff Morris, for giving inexperienced people with ideas the chance to work with the SGA.

Future ‘Nova Nation events include busses to basketball games, pep rallies to promote all sports, a “meet your neighbor” series to allow Villanova students to meet members of Villanova’s administration, faculty and staff, as well as other members of the student body, and the Hoops Mania basketball kick-off scheduled for Oct. 21.