The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Katrina floods campus with relief efforts, controversy

Despite the fact that the gulf region devastated by Hurricane Katrina is thousands of miles away and unknown to most U students, Hurricane Katrina was a major player on campus in 2005.

In the days that followed the tragic disaster, the U community was quick to respond with a relief effort.

A team of 11 doctors and 15 nurses from the University hospital was immediately sent to help provide care for hurricane victims and relief workers. LDSSA organized a campus-wide effort to make quilts and hygiene kits to be delivered to the victims.

The music department organized a series of Hurricane Relief Concerts, in which the audience was given a free concert in exchange for donations to the hurricane victims.

ASUU organized a party that, despite low attendance, still earned $11,000 for the Red Cross.

Randy Silverman, a preservation librarian at the U, even went to help salvage and preserve rare collections at museums and libraries affected by the disaster.

The U also extended a helping hand to college students displaced by the hurricane. Ten students from various gulf schools were admitted to the U at no charge as long as they paid tuition at their original schools.

However, not every gulf school student had a positive experience. Aimee Jensen, a Tulane student and the first hurricane evacuee to come to the U, left the U after learning she would have to pay the more expensive Tulane tuition while attending the U.

She said U officials didn’t inform her of the situation and originally wouldn’t refund her tuition money after deciding to leave the U. The U refunded her money within several days.

Justin Barker, a Tulane Medical student, also encountered problems when the U medical school wouldn’t give him admission because Tulane had required that its medical students attend Houston University.

Another controversial incident arose from Katrina when a group of students began selling T-shirts on campus that read, “BYU sucks but hurricanes blow.”

Administrators were infuriated because the students used the U’s and BYU’s logos without permission and threatened legal action if the students didn’t destroy, hand over or alter the T-shirts.

Even after sharp criticism in The Chronicle and other local news sources, administrators stopped further selling of the original T-shirt.

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