Office of Multicultural Affairs Encourages Donations for Puerto Rican Hurricane Relief

Angelica Acevedo, Co-Social Media Manager

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) at St. John’s University is collecting donations to assist Puerto Rico in recovering from Hurricane Maria that swept the island almost two months ago, as stated in their recent Instagram post.

OMA wrote that they are working closely with The Puerto Rican Family Institute, a nonprofit, multi-program health and human services agency with offices in New York City and Puerto Rico.

OMA encourages the St. John’s community to help them send necessary aid to Puerto Rico either monetarily or non-monetarily. Students, faculty and administrators are welcomed to write out checks for the hurricane relief, give cash or donate items such as batteries, solar powered cell phone chargers, fans, radios, generators, non-perishables, baby products and water.

The drop off location for these donations is in OMA’s office in the D’Angelo Center Room 124. The deadline to make any kind of donations is Friday, Dec. 1 at 3 p.m.

Sieta Leon, a junior and vice president of Latin American Student Organization (LASO), feels the University could be drawing more attention to its call for donations.

“I feel like the school is making good initiatives to give aid to Puerto Rico,” Leon said. “Many of these initiatives were fueled by students and they also play a big part in sending relief. Although I feel like there has to be more of a push from the university in the sense that there has been a lack of promotion about it. The only reason I’ve heard about it is from the office of multicultural affairs and also because I am in LASO. But I feel like if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t know about it.”

According to USA Today, as of Nov. 9, 15 percent of the island has no running water and much of it remains without power.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 8, the death toll is at 55, according to the New York Times.

As a result of Puerto Rico’s devastation, many universities across the United States have offered students from the island that were affected by the hurricane with programs to help them pay their tuition. According to Fortune, New York University is offering undergraduate students from Puerto Rico free tuition as well as room and board for the Spring 2018 semester — with applications available as of Nov. 10.

Other universities that have reduced tuition by offering them in-state-tuition are Florida State University, Brown University and Cornell University.