Univ. responds to Katrina

The University announced the launch of several initiatives to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina last week.

A pared-down picnic dinner was served in lieu of the traditional banquet at the St. Thomas of Villanova Day festivities on Thursday. The money saved represented the first donation to the Villanova Hurricane Relief Fund, which will accept donations over the next several months.

“Katrina Relief” wristbands are being sold throughout campus for a minimum donation of five dollars.These funds will be distributed to disaster relief agencies, Catholic charities in the New Orleans area and specific institutions in the area that have a connection to the University, such as Catholic churches and high schools that have traditionally garnered Villanova students.

Campus Ministry is currently working to organize service trips to New Orleans for the fall, winter and spring breaks. Special masses and as-needed efforts, such as clothing drives, are planned for the future.

“A lot is still in the planning phase,” said Kathy Byrnes, assistant vice president of Student Life. “It has been completely heartwarming how so many people from every part of the University are interested in doing something to help. People have been very generous.”