University makes admirable efforts to aid Hurricane Katrina victims

While this space is usually used to chastise the University for whatever issue we may take umbrage with on a given week, we feel it is time to praise Villanova for its response to the devastation in the Gulf Coast region.

In the wake of Katrina, thousands were left without food, water or housing. In addition to this suffering, thousands of college kids were left in limbo as their schools were left unable to hold classes this semester.

Our nation can often times be likened to a group of brothers. We may complain about arrogant New Yorkers or backwoods country folk, but when one part of the country is in trouble, the rest of the nation is their with outstretched hands in order to pick them up.

To this end, Villanova University has done its part. Almost immediately, fundraising was set up to collect money for the victims of Katrina. Money will go both to disaster relief agencies and individual causes within the region. Second, the St. Thomas of Villanova Day festivities were toned down so that money can be saved and sent to those in need.

Furthermore, plans are being looked at to divert service trips to the regions affected by Hurricane Katrina

And finally, joining with colleges around the country, Villanova accepted 27 students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The fact that the University was able to draw up and implement plans to accommodate these students within a week of the disaster is astounding. Students were enrolled on Tuesday and started classes on Wednesday. In addition, tuition and fees for these students has been waived, in a truly Christian gesture.

Reaching out to displaced students is something we can all be proud of. Rather than seeing images on a TV screen thousands of miles away or wondering if the money we donate will really get to those in need, seeing these students in our classroom is a comforting sign to know that we are doing something.

They come to us from Tulane, the University of New Orleans and Loyola, but for this semester at least, they will all be Villanovans and, in some small way, we will all be Louisianans.