Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- September 12, 2005

Cal Poly Response to Hurricane Katrina

Cal Poly is currently working to aid college students headed to campus from areas struck by Hurricane Katrina.

As of today, the university is currently in contact with roughly 20 students from universities in Katrina-hit areas who have applied to Cal Poly. The university has so far admitted 14 of those students. They are arriving on campus this week. Classes start Sept. 19, and the university is working to help them enroll in classes and help them find housing for the quarter, and remainder of academic year 2005-06.

Current efforts under way include:

Housing for Katrina-displaced students -- Students admitted to Cal Poly will be offered temporary housing, and assisted in finding permanent off-campus housing. The Cal Poly Housing Department's off-campus rental listings Web page now has a category titled "Hurricane Katrina," where community members can place offers of off-campus housing.

Community members interested in offering housing or renting to a Hurricane Katrina student should visit, click on the "Off Campus" link on the main menu, create a user name, and place an ad in the "Hurricane Katrina" category.

Katrina students seeking housing will also be able to place an ad on the same Web site. So far, at least three Katrina-displaced students are in need of housing for the quarter, and academic year.

Community members who prefer to phone in offers of housing resources can contact Director of Housing and Residential Life Preston Allen. Allen's office will serve as a link between the Katrina students and those offering housing. He can be reached at (805) 756-1226 or

Financial aid, support or other donations for Katrina-displaced students -- Several of the students need computers. One is a second-year business student who lost his computer and all his belongings in flooding in New Orleans.

Some community members have already expressed a desire to make donations to help the Hurricane Katrina students once they reach Cal Poly. Donations can be made to the new Cal Poly Katrina Students Emergency Fund. Checks should be made payable to The Cal Poly Foundation and mailed to: Cal Poly, University Advancement, Room 109, Heron Hall, One Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo CA, 93407, Attn. Katrina Students Fund. Donors with questions about the fund can call (805) 756-6160.

All donations must be "unrestricted" -- meaning that they will go into a general fund to help pay for any sort of needed items for Katrina students (textbooks, meals, schools supplies), not restricted to one single item (i.e., donations for textbooks only).

Cal Poly's Student Affairs Care Team will evaluate the Katrina students' requests and needs and disburse donated funds accordingly. If the university receives more in donations than are needed by the Katrina students, the remaining money will go to other Cal Poly students faced with emergency needs.

For details on Katrina students' assistance needs as they emerge, check the Cal Poly Katrina Response Web page at:

Counseling and Healthcare -- The Cal Poly Health Center and Counseling Services program will offer healthcare services and counseling for students displaced by Katrina.

Parent Concerns -- The Cal Poly Parent Program will contact parents of Hurricane Katrina students once they are admitted to familiarize them with Cal Poly, the campus, the community, and parent program offerings.

Interviews with Katrina students -- Once the students are enrolled at Cal Poly, Public Affairs will e-mail the students and ask them if they would be willing to talk to media about their experiences. Those who are willing will be given reporters' names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Reporters wanting to set up interviews with Katrina-displaced students as they arrive should provide their contact information to Teresa Hendrix at (805) 756-7266 or Stacia Momburg at (805) 756-6260 or
Other Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and fund drives:
In addition to aiding displaced students, several other Katrina response efforts are under way on campus. Cal Poly is encouraging its 2,700 faculty and staff to donate directly to the American Red Cross or United Way relief efforts.

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the WOW student orientation program are joining the national "Operation TeddyCare" effort to collect new teddy bears to give to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Details will be available next week.

The WOW freshmen living in the residence halls have begun a fund-raising drive for the Katrina-displaced students arriving on campus.

As students and faculty return to campus Sept. 19, more assistance and fund-raising efforts are likely and details will be announced as they develop.

Media Contact:
Teresa Hendrix, (805) 756-1511, -7266,

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