On Monday, Students’ Association Senate voted to draft a letter that encourages the administration to coordinate fundraising efforts with those of students. Although money is currently the preferred means of aiding relief efforts, UR’s response to Hurricane Katrina should be seen in the framework of an academic institution, not as a private corporation.

Since students have already shown a substantial community effort in raising money, UR’s financial resources are better served in bolstering its mission of education. Instead of asking the university to donate money, the SA Senate should affirm that the University’s mission – education – can help improve the situation.

Furthermore, in paralleling the relief with social reforms like civil rights and anti-apartheid movements, the SA Senate needlessly implies an adversarial nature to the relief effort. The administration cannot take sides in this politically-charged issue, especially when goodwill – not political tension – will just as easily provide incentive to do aid.

UR’s financial resources need to promote the ultimate goal of a university – providing society with intelligent and enthusiastic individuals. The administration has already shown how this important resource can be used through coordination with the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In addition to providing facilities to move displaced nursing and medical students, the SMD is making its health care professionals available for transfer to the disaster areas as needed.

The administration can then use this template to get the undergraduate community involved, coordinating alternative winter and spring breaks with various student organizations.

Since the administration is executing its mission admirably, the students should already feel empowered in their own relief efforts.

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