Students bake for Katrina aid

By Caroline Kim

Some University students stayed up until 4 a.m. Monday morning to bake desserts. They were sold later in the afternoon on the Quad for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund. The bake sale began Monday and will continue until Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

By Monday’s end, the bake sale accumulated about $525 in donations, said Patrice Yao, senior in Business.

As well, several boxes have been set up at the bake sale and other locations throughout the campus to collect clothes, canned foods, school supplies and other non-perishable goods until Friday.

Bob Trieu, senior in LAS, said several student leaders and University officials met almost two weeks ago to act in response to Hurricane Katrina.

“We wanted to have a collective effort,” Trieu said.

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As a result of the meeting, Trieu said he and Yao decided to do a bake sale. Students from different campus organizations, such as Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity and Asian American Association, helped bake and sell the desserts.

Trieu said all money collected will go to the Red Cross through a general University fund set up for Hurricane Katrina aid.

“I think it’s a great outpouring from the campus,” Trieu said. “A girl from New Orleans came up to thank us earlier. We can already see the effects directly.”

Trieu said a lot of people want to help out but do not know how, so the bake sale offers an opportunity to make a contribution.

“We just want more people to come out and help raise money,” Trieu said. “We’re trying to raise awareness.”

Trieu said that events such as these help people realize that the effects of Hurricane Katrina are still a problem.

Ljubinka Jandrich, a University instructor, said she plans to come back today to the bake sale.

“The whole community is mobilizing,” Jandrich said. “I think it’s wonderful the community is responding positively.”

Yao said people are pooling their resources and talents to help out.

“Students have been very supportive and willing to help out,” Yao said. “I’ve had numerous e-mails everyday from people asking how to help.”

She said other relief efforts, such as a benefit concert, are in the works.

“It’s awesome to see students who are willing to volunteer when given the opportunity,” Yao said. “It’s so easy for us to not care and say ‘I don’t have enough money’ … But we’re taking action to help out.”

Josh Rohrscheib, co-president of Illinois Student Senate, said he is waiting for the office of the vice chancellor of student affairs for permission to can on the Quad. The money would be used to help students who were affected by Hurricane Katrina and are coming to the University.

“We had a tremendous response as far as the last football games (with canning),” Rohrscheib said.

The past two weekends, students from the student senate and from other organizations canned for donations before the football games, collecting more than $20,000.

Yao said the response to the relief efforts says a lot about the University community.

“When a national disaster happens, no matter how far we are, or how small of an impact we think we can have, we’re still able as a student body and as a campus community to come together to help out the relief effort in any way we can think of,” Yao said.

Rohrscheib said the important aspect is that these efforts are sustained.

“It’s important that we don’t just burn out in a few weeks,” Rohrscheib said. “As time goes on, it’s a lot harder to raise money.”