As the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season continues, university keeps up relief efforts


Todd Polk

On Oct. 9, the students of Vanderbilt University received the fourth hurricane response email from the Dean of Students since the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year. Hurricane Nate, the latest hurricane, ran through Central America and Mexico before making landfall in the US Gulf Coast. With each hurricane came a response that forwarded students to the various campus resources ranging from the Psychological Counseling Center to the Financial Aid office.

For some students, such as Kyle Brooks, destruction and emotions of the time were offset by charity and compassion. Brooks, an undergraduate student from Tennessee whose hometown endured massive flooding from Hurricane Irma, came away with a positive impression of the university’s response.

“Share-a-side helps a lot,” he said. “And the counseling and psychological services made real efforts to try to help struggling students.”

Megan Pullen, a undergraduate student from Florida, was one of the students studying abroad who did not have access to many of the resources on campus. Pullen said that she appreciated the university telling students to contact the financial aid office.

In addition to the university response, student groups hosted relief efforts of their own. Organizations from across campus collected clothes, batteries and non-perishable foods for victims of the different hurricanes. At the same time, offices such as the Office of Active Citizenship and Service buttressed efforts, holding blood-drives and supplies collections of their own.

Hurricane season, however, is not over and relief campaigns will continue. Below is a list of some of the ongoing relief initiatives and university facilities.

  • The Office of Graduate Medical Education donation drive for Hurricane Maria relief. Bin located in Light Hall 209. Open Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5pm with no set end date. Accepting canned foods, batteries (size C and D preferred, but all welcomed), flashlights, underwear, toiletries, diapers, baby food, first aid kits, sterile gloves or other miscellaneous survival supplies
  • The Caribbean Students Association’s Venmo account is accepting donations for countries and states affected by Hurricane Irma. Donate at @Irma Relief.