Despite the many miles that separate Newark from Haiti, our campus, sadly, has very personal links to the tragedy there. A number of our students, faculty and staff are natives of Haiti, or their families emigrated from Haiti, and many have relatives and friends residing there. While we still do not know details about casualties, the loss of life and the destruction of property are expected to be immense. To all of our Haitian colleagues and students who are anxiously awaiting news of their loved ones’ fates, let me say that our thoughts are with you. On-campus counseling and support is available to anyone who needs it; please contact the Counseling Center, 973/353-5805, Blumenthal Hall, Room 101. You can also reach out to the Office of Student Life and Leadership (973/353-5300), the Office of Housing (973/353-1035), the Office of Student and Community Affairs in the Office of the Chancellor (973-353-5541), or your individual College Advisor and/or Dean of Students.
But much more than good thoughts are needed now; we also must rally quickly as a community to help those in Haiti in whatever ways we can. A number of organizations are accepting monetary donations for Haitian relief; here at Rutgers-Newark we have created a website, http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/haiti/, which offers direct links for providing donations.
I am sure that when the spring semester begins next week, Rutgers-Newark students will come together to respond to this crisis, as they have done so many times before. I am equally sure that whatever our students do to help, they will receive great support from the rest of the campus community. But we cannot wait for next week – the need for immediate relief is too great. So please, as soon as you can, go to http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/haiti/ and determine which way you can best help.
Many lives are at stake, so time is of the essence.
Steven J. Diner, Chancellor