Western is currently planning several responses to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. In addition to a weeklong series of events planned for October, Western has also planned to support students displaced by the disaster.

The week of October 15-22 is slated for relief activities dealing with the hurricane. Currently, two major events are planned and more expected to be added.

“The University and the Associated Students and the student body are all working together for this week of events,” said Alanna Ahern, Associated Students vice president for campus and community affairs.

The first event, “Pledge Your Sweat,” is actually a series of fitness workshops led by fitness professionals at the Wade King Recreation Center. In addition to campus participants, the workshops will also be open to the community.

Also currently planned for that week is the second annual “A Chance For Change” in the Viking Union’s Multipurpose Room. The event is a campus fair for students to become involved in service learning at Western and in the Bellingham community and will offer students a hot lunch in exchange for donations of spare change.

Students and the community will also have a chance to bid on 15 sections of a 120 foot long piece of wall art created during this year’s High Street Arts & Music Festival. The sections will feature Native American and urban designs created by a group of artists from California, Nevada, and Washington.

A donation table is in the works for Info Fair, which will be occurring September 19-20 in Red Square. Cost Cutter Food Pavilion has donated water bottles that will be given in exchange for donations.

Students unable to attend those events may also visit the cashier’s office at any time to donate before the fundraisers, where you can also find forms for those wishing to make their donation tax deductible. For those unable to visit the cashier’s office, a link to a downloadable form has been made available on Western’s website regarding Hurricane Katrina. All proceeds collected will benefit the American Red Cross.

Western is also helping to support students across the countries that were displaced by the hurricane. Affected students residing in Washington State are given priority, though Karen Copetas, director of Admissions, explained that “while we will give priority to state residents, we are working with all inquiring students to assist them.”

Currently, three hurricane-displaced students are expected to attend Western this fall.

“Given our tradition of community service,” said University President Karen Morse, “we anticipate many of Western’s current students, staff and faculty will contribute to relief and rebuilding efforts in a variety of ways.”

The Western Cashier’s office is located at Old Main 245. Western’s website regarding Hurricane Katrina can be found at http://www.wwu.edu/katrina/. For more information regarding how you can help, please contact Alanna Ahern, vice president for campus and community affairs, at ASVP.community@wwu.edu.