HCC offers hurricane relief

(September 9, 2005) - Students, staff and faculty at Hagerstown Community College are reaching out to provide assistance to the victims and relief effort associated with Hurricane Katrina.

HCC has prepared an educational opportunity response, in which displaced students who have relocated to the area will be given the opportunity to continue their studies throughout this academic year.

“Due to the large number of community colleges and universities affected by this tragedy, thousands of students will experience a significant disruption in meeting their educational goals,” said HCC President Guy Altieri, noting that HCC has already received a few inquiries from students who were attending Delgado Community College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

“At HCC, we want to assist dislocated students in our area by being as flexible as we can in helping them resume their academic pursuits.”

HCC offers several late-start sessions, with the next big section of classes set to begin October 21. In addition to this option, college officials plan to give special accommodations to displaced students who may need classes that have already begun. In cases where students don’t have the appropriate finances, HCC will make every effort to provide what is needed.

In addition to the educational opportunity for displaced students, HCC is conducting several other initiatives including providing collection sites on campus for water, canned food and toiletries. The Student Government Association is working in coordination with other Maryland community colleges to sell Mardi Gras beads as a fundraiser. The local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is collecting cash donations for the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross will conduct a blood drive, sponsored by HCC’s PTK, on Wednesday, September 14, 2005, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in HCC’s College Center. For every donor, the local chapter of the Red Cross will make a monetary donation to the hurricane relief efforts.

Faculty at HCC have expressed an interest in helping students and others process and learn from this natural disaster and all its ramifications. Open campus discussions are currently being planned and will be announced to the public.

To learn more about the educational opportunity for displaced students, contact Donna Rudy, dean of student affairs, at 301-790-2800, ext. 301. For information on all other HCC relief efforts, contact Heather Barnhart at 301-790-2800, ext. 262.