Joshua Ceballos/Staff Writer
This post has been updated with more information from the VP of Academic and Student Affairs.
The University has announced on Twitter that it is reactivating the #FIUStrong aid initiative in light of the devastation in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian.
— FIU (@FIU) September 2, 2019
#FIUStrong is the University’s term for an interdepartmental initiative meant to lead relief efforts for students and the community after major disasters. After the destruction in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, #FIUStrong was activated to help those who had lost their homes, and during the government shutdown in January 2019, #FIUStrong provided financial support for furloughed workers.
While no official plans have been made yet as for what the initiative will do in its current incarnation, the focus is most definitely on the Bahamas.
In a video message on YouTube, University President Mark B. Rosenberg said that the FIU community is “shocked” and “saddened” by the loss of life and damage in the Caribbean islands, where the University’s football team spent time last December during the Bahamas Bowl.
“We’re resolved to do what we can for the Bahamian community and will begin aid efforts immediately,” said Rosenberg in the message on Monday, Sept. 2.
Elizabeth Bejar, FIU’s senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, tells PantherNOW that key individuals throughout the University have been identified to help students, faculty and staff that may be affected by the storm. For example, the financial aid department has a point person to help students who may have trouble paying for classes if their families have been harmed by the storm.
“We have people in emergency financial aid that are ready to help students whose family or loved ones are in the Bahamas so that they can get some assistance and not go through the extra tragedy of having to drop classes,” says Bejar.
As of right now, students are urged to email FIUStrong@fiu.edu if they have been personally affected by the storm so that #FIUStrong personnel can determine their exact needs.
If you would like to donate to #FIUStrong for the victims of Hurricane Dorian, visit the FIUStrong website.