Tuesday, September 19, 2017

UTSA offers assistance, support in storm aftermath

UTSA offers assistance, support in storm aftermath

(Aug. 28, 2017) -- Dear Fellow Roadrunners,

The devastation that Harvey brought to Texas this past weekend is of unparalleled dimension. It has tested, and will continue to challenge, the resolve of the Roadrunner community. Many families of our students, faculty and staff were directly impacted by this terrible storm and the severe flooding in South Central and Southeast Texas and the Houston region. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who will spend weeks, if not months, recovering from this tragedy.

During times like this, we need to come together as the Roadrunner Family to assist those whose lives have been disrupted and to provide support to those in need. UTSA stands ready to offer assistance. Here is some important information for those who are impacted, and for everyone who wants to help. It expands on information we provided yesterday on UTSA Today (utsa.edu/today).

For students in a devastated area who are currently unable to return to UTSA:

  • Safety is always the first priority. Do not attempt to travel to campus in conditions that are unsafe. Use good judgment and exercise caution when deciding whether to travel to campus.

  • Do not worry about missing classes. The Provost’s Office has coordinated with UTSA faculty to make accommodations for students who have been impacted by Harvey. Our faculty and instructors will work with you if you need to miss classes, assignments, exams or quizzes.

  • The Office of Academic Affairs has assigned an undergraduate advisor and graduate advisor to assist with any longer-term disruption in your coursework. Please contact Student Affairs Ombudsman Carol Gonzalez at 210-458-4040 for assistance.

For students currently at UTSA who have families impacted by Harvey:

  • If your family wants to seek shelter in San Antonio, call the Student Affairs Ombudsperson, Carol Gonzalez, at 210-458-4040 for assistance in connecting them with local shelters. 
  • If you feel your studies may be disrupted by a need to return home, contact the advisors who have specifically been assigned to assist in this disaster. Please contact Student Affairs Ombudsman Carol Gonzalez at 210-458-4040 for assistance. 
  • If you are experiencing financial issues due to Harvey, emergency funding is available. Call the Financial Aid Ombudsperson Kim Canady at 210-458-7167 for more information. 
  • Counseling Services is ready to help with emotional support services. You can obtain assistance at the Recreation Wellness Center on the Main Campus (RWC 1.810) and at the Frio Street Building at the Downtown Campus (FS 4.556). Additionally, counselors are available 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week by calling 210-458-4140. 
  • A support group for students impacted by Harvey will meet Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. in RWC 1.806. Additional support group sessions will be held at the same time and location on Tuesday, Sept. 5 and Tuesday, Sept. 12. These gatherings, sponsored by UTSA Counseling Services, are for any students struggling with the impact of Harvey.   
  • The Roadrunner Pantry can offer an emergency kit including food and hygiene products. The pantry is open Mondays (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), Wednesdays (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) and Thursdays (3-7 p.m.) at UC North 1.04.06, next to the UPS Store. A valid student ID is required. Students who need immediate assistance but cannot visit the Pantry should visit the UC information Desk or contact ucfoodpantry@utsa.edu to request a food pantry emergency kit. A staff member will contact you within 24 hours to arrange for a food pickup.

Here are ways that everyone can help fellow Roadrunners affected and others across the state affected by Harvey:

  • UTSA is holding a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Thursday in the H-E-B University Center parking lot on the Main Campus. Blood supplies are needed across devastated areas. 
  • Donate to the Roadrunner Pantry. Monetary donations can be made online and are tax deductible as allowable by law. Food donations are accepted in marked bins at the UC Donation Station in University Center North across from the Campus Bookstore during UC building hours. Donation bins are also located outside the Downtown Campus bookstore.  
  • Support donation efforts organized by our student organizations. Student organizations are discussing a coordinated relief effort and will soon have details to share. Watch for information. 

UTSA is a very special community and I have seen how you come together to support each other in difficult times. We need that now more than ever.

Commitment to service is an intrinsic quality of being a Roadrunner. Thanks to all of you who have already called, emailed or otherwise expressed your commitment to helping the UTSA community and others across the state who have been displaced by this devastating storm.    

Taylor Eighmy, Ph.D.
UTSA President


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