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Hofstra for Haiti fundraises for Haitian earthquake victims

By David Gordon, News Editor

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck near Port-Au-Prince, Haiti on January 12, the University has set up "Hofstra for Haiti," a program to raise funds to help the country and its people, to get the care they need.

The University will match up to the first $25,000 raised by the Hofstra for Haiti relief fund, which is being run by the Dean of Students' office. The proceeds will be split by the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. As of press time, the University has raised $5,534. This initiative will run through February 12.

"We have a lot of exciting things going on," said Dean of Students Peter Libman. "Right now, we're doing some initiatives geared to the faculty and staff to try to get them involved." Among them, a luncheon at the University Club (where proceeds from the cost of attendance will go to the fund) and "Hofstra for Hai'tea'"" during Common Hour next Wednesday.

"The students are busy coming up with lots of different events," Libman added. Hofstra Concerts is putting on a benefit concert and the University's chapter of the NAACP "is talking about doing their spring fashion show and raising all the monies for Hofstra for Haiti."

Among the fundraising efforts was a student magician who raised over $100 by performing tricks in the Student Center Atrium. The Hofstra Athletic Department is selling bracelets there, as well as at athletic events. The Muslim student organization held bake sales raised $200. A candlelight vigil was held on Wednesday, January 27, in front of Hofstra Hall. Close to 100 members of the campus community attended.

Nicholas Fils-Aime and other students directly affected by the Haiti situation spoke with The Chronicle on Wednesday.

"I only got in touch with my cousins and my aunt," Fils-Aime said. "Currently, they're living outside because they're afraid to go home. Everyone is afraid to go home." He added that, because phone lines were down, the only way he was able to get in touch with them was through text messaging.

Ashleigh Nixon-Joseph, whose father is Haitian, said she lost seven of her cousins in the earthquake. Her father's house collapsed, as well. "I'm really touched and appreciate that they're [the University] doing these things for Haiti," she said.

Fils-Aime encouraged everyone to donate whenever they can. "There are various foundations they can go to…if you go to events now, there will be a bin at the back, and during the program, they'll ask for you to donate to Haiti. It'll help the Red Cross and Hofstra for Haiti ship medical supplies to the country."

He added, "I'm grateful for what Hofstra's doing, because some school's wouldn't even match up the funds that the students and faculty fundraise. That's wonderful, because we really do need it."

Ben Ring participates in the candelight vigil for Haiti. (Caitlin Spiess/The Chronicle)

Students sell bracelets in the Student Center Atrium to raise money for Hofstra for Haiti (Sean M. Gates/The Chronicle)

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