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Dartmouth responds to Hurricane Katrina

As Dartmouth begins its 2005 fall term, the institution has moved in a wide range of ways to respond to the impact of Hurricane Katrina, offering assistance both on and off campus.  Full details of the College's responses, and links to a variety of relief organizations, are available online.

Measures that Dartmouth has instituted to date include:

Temporary admission of displaced undergraduates and graduate students
President James Wright authorized expansion of the long-standing Special Community Students Programs to allow academically qualified undergraduates from colleges and universities in the affected region to attend Dartmouth until they are able to return to their home institutions. As of the opening of the fall term on Sept. 20, the College had admitted 32 such students, mainly from Tulane University, and was prepared to accept at least another seven if local housing could be found for them. (No applicants have been rejected.) Housing on campus is tight, but many Upper Valley residents have offered to open their homes to visiting students and Dartmouth students have offered to share their rooms.

Dartmouth's graduate schools are also responding to displaced students. The Thayer school is offering the opportunity for qualified engineering graduate students displaced by the disaster to attend on an interim basis. The Tuck school has accepted some MBA students to its second-year program.  Dartmouth Medical School is working with the American Association of Medical Colleges to assist schools and students in developing a plan for medical students.

Accommodation of displaced faculty
Dartmouth has reached out to displaced faculty from the affected region with offers of  temporary appointments with library and computing privileges.  As of Sept. 20, at least two faculty members from other institutions, in the fields of philosophy and linguistics, had accepted that offer.

Assistance with relief efforts on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere
The William Jewett Tucker Foundation, Dartmouth's umbrella organization for civic service, is working with students, staff and faculty from across the institution to coordinate efforts to provide assistance and contributions to the relief effort. The Tucker Foundation held meetings for interested faculty and staff on Sept. 16 and for students on Sept. 20, with an estimated 370 attendees at the latter. The Tucker Foundation has organized a committee called KatrinaHelp that will coordinate outreach efforts.

The Dartmouth football team pitched in on Sunday, Sept. 18 when players joined the Hanover Parks & Recreation Department in aiding Katrina victims. Members of the squad joined other volunteers at the Richard W. Black Community & Senior Center in Hanover to help fill a tractor trailer with some 500 boxes of clothing, food and other necessities that had filled the basement of the center to capacity. The truck carrying the items departed the next day for East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana.  Dartmouth's graduate schools have also either held or are in the process of organizing events to raise money for hurricane relief.

Assistance to Dartmouth students, faculty, staff and alumni
The College has been working to contact its own students (about 30) who are from the region affected by the hurricane to offer individual counseling and support and to inform them that financial aid reassessments or time away from studies are options. The Office of Human Resources has announced procedures through which employees can apply for leave time to volunteer with the relief effort. Visit the website or call 646-3411 for details.

The Office of Alumni Relations has also established a blog, where alumni can locate friends. Additionally, the College is working on a broad educational program to engage the campus in the lessons that can be learned from this disaster.


Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08