Morality should come first

By By Chronicle Senior Staff

By Chronicle Senior Staff

In the race to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, many of those who donated to the relief effort did not bother to find out what sort of donations would be reimbursed by FEMA and which donations would just have to chalked up to general good will.

Many agencies throughout the state of Utah are experiencing major headaches as they try to get reimbursements for aid they provided during the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

The U, however, took the time to find out what the reimbursement process would be and is, therefore, having no problem receiving reimbursement funds from FEMA.

In a way, the U administration is to be congratulated for being responsible for following the strict FEMA guidelines and processes that are required for reimbursement.

Administrators were fiscally responsible with the money with which students, donors and the taxpayers of Utah entrusted them-but they also didn’t let bureaucracy stand in the way of helping. The U decided to provide medical help to the evacuees first and then contacted FEMA to request a reimbursement.

In another way, however, it is sad that in the face of a national disaster like Hurricane Katrina, individuals, agencies and organizations that want to help must weigh their economic realities, along with the strict demands of a federal bureaucracy, against the immediate inclination to provide help for those who dearly need it.

It seems that those who were generous enough to help when it was needed should not be then punished for not having the foresight to dot every I and cross every T as they were faced with the reality of thousands of evacuees whose homes had been destroyed.

Many state agencies that offered help to Hurricane Katrina victims had many costs that are not eligible for reimbursement according to FEMA guidelines. It’s a sad state of affairs that various states across the country not only had to step in and take care of what FEMA was not able to do, but also were stuck with the bill.

Ultimately, if we have to weigh morality against economics or bureaucracy, it seems obvious that morality would, and should, win. The unfortunate thing is that we ever had to weigh our options in the first place.