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Columbia Extends Sympathy and Assistance to Hurricane Katrina Victims

The Columbia community is deeply saddened by the magnitude of the pain and suffering that has resulted from Hurricane Katrina. We join the rest of the nation in seeking ways to aid those in need. The University would also like to express its deep appreciation of the extraordinary response efforts by volunteers, state and local government agencies and relief organizations.

We in New York City know deeply and personally how difficult and painful a disaster of this magnitude is for the individuals and families experiencing it. As we reach out to help those affected by Katrina, we will do so in the same spirit of generosity and compassion that the nation showed New Yorkers following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The University is prepared to assist the many students who attend colleges and universities in the region and whose lives and education have been disrupted, so that they may continue their education without interruption. While it will not be possible to provide housing, the University will make it possible for such students to explore taking courses at Columbia University.

  • Interested undergraduates should contact the School of Continuing Education for further information and help in applying at ce-info@columbia.edu or 212-854-9699.
    The deadline for new applications is Tuesday, September 6, at 6 p.m.
    Further information is available at the School of Continuing Education Web site: http://www.ce.columbia.edu/hurricane.cfm

  • Columbia University Engineering School's Columbia Video Network (CVN) will open its distance learning to students entering their senior year of undergraduate studies and to graduate students. Courses are available in computer science as well as in most engineering and applied science disciplines.
    Further information is available at the CVN Web site: http://www.cvn.columbia.edu/katrina.htm

  • Graduate Professional School students should contact the admissions offices of the specific school in question. See the Academic Programs page on the Columbia University Web site for links to each school's Web site. http://www.columbia.edu/academic_programs/index.html

  • Graduate students interested in exploring the possibility of taking courses at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences should contact the office of the dean at 212-854-2861 or ca2117@columbia.edu.

Columbia also will welcome as visiting scholars/visiting scientists those faculty and researchers from affected colleges and universities who decide to relocate temporarily to New York. Columbia will provide them access to the University’s libraries, gym and the academic events of the Columbia community. Displaced scholars may contact Jane Acton Chung in the International Students and Scholars Office at 212-854-3587 or ja378@columbia.edu for additional information and referral to the appropriate academic unit.

Health services will be available to students currently enrolled at Columbia and visiting students from the hurricane-affected areas. Students on both the Morningside and Medical Center campuses may access medical and counseling services by contacting the Health Services on their campus. For more information or to make an appointment at Health Services at Columbia (Morningside) visit http://www.health.columbia.edu or call 212-854-2284. For more information or to make an appointment at the Student Health Services at the Medical Center visit http://www.columbiahealth.info/ or call 212-305-3400.

The University is also offering counseling services to faculty, staff and students who may have been affected by the hurricane. For more information about drop-in hours or to make an appointment with Health Services on the Morningside campus, visit http://www.health.columbia.edu/ or call 212-854-2878.

In addition, the University has contracted with an independent organization called the Employee Development Center (EDC). EDC has worked with Columbia over the past few years to offer faculty, staff and their families confidential counseling and referrals to other services, if necessary, at no cost to the individual. To contact EDC, call 212-935-3030 or 800-327-9092, for calls from outside of New York. For further information about the EDC, visit the Employee Assistance Program page on the Human Resources Web site: http://www.hr.columbia.edu/hr/benefits/eap/eap/index.html

The University has established a fund to assist families of Columbia students, faculty and staff who are in distress. Contributions may be sent to: The Office of the University Chaplain, 202 Earl Hall, MC 2008, New York, NY 10027. Checks should be made payable to Columbia University and indicate Attn: Katrina Relief Fund. 

A concert to benefit this fund will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. in St. Paul’s Chapel and feature Columbia musicians.

Anyone who knows of Columbia families in need in the disaster area should contact the Office of the University Chaplain at 212-854-1493 to offer details on the family and how to reach them. If this fund raises money beyond the need of such families, Columbia will contribute the surplus to one of the major national relief agencies.

In addition to these efforts, the Mailman School of Public Health and the Children’s Health Fund have launched Operation Assist to support public health needs in the affected region. S tate-of-the-art mobile medical units arrived in Biloxi, Miss, on September 5 to provide direct health services to children and families, as well as bring significant public health expertise into the field by providing needs assessment; prevention and management of infectious disease; data collection and analysis for long-term planning. For more information on Operation Assist, visit http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/news/press_releases/Mailman.Katrina.html.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the national relief effort can consult the organizations listed below for various ways to do so.

Published: Sep 01, 2005
Last modified: Sep 08, 2005

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