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Dear Tech Family,
Good Monday morning.
Many of us in north Louisiana spent the weekend without power and other services after Hurricane Laura plowed through our state. In his last status update, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker said power had been returned to about 75 percent of residents south of Interstate 20 and to about 50 percent north of the interstate. I know that others have been added since that update. We greatly appreciate the work of the Mayor, other workers and volunteers from throughout the community, and the many workers who have come in from across the country to help our community get back on its feet.
Ruston’s downed trees and power lines are very serious, and I know that many of you who live here have had significant impacts. The challenges facing the residents of southwest Louisiana are even more monumental. Recovery from a natural disaster – whether it be a hurricane or a tornado – is not quick. It requires support and understanding from many others.
We have many students, faculty and staff with connections to Lake Charles, McNeese State University, and southwest Louisiana. Many of our alumni also live in that part of the State. Each year, we welcome students from there, and we know that some of them will need our help as we approach the new academic year.
We are currently working with student leaders and our Alumni Association and Foundation to find out our students’ needs and how we can best help them begin the year well. As we work on other options for help, we have put two initiatives in place for immediate student assistance.
If you are a student from the areas affected by Hurricane Laura and you need to move into your on-campus housing before the official move-in date, please contact the Housing Office at 318.257.4917 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Housing staff members will work with you to ensure you have a safe place to live.
Meal plans will also be available early for those students who need access because they are moving into on-campus housing early. For assistance with activation of early meal plans, contact Student Affairs at StudentAffairs@latech.edu or 318.257.2445.
Later today, I will be releasing a hotline phone number and other information to be available for those students who have Tech-related questions or issues related to the impacts of Hurricane Laura.
Faculty and staff assistance
Hurricane Laura hit north Louisiana much harder than anticipated, and we know many of our faculty and staff are still suffering the storm’s impact. As we continue to recover, we’d like to make sure that all members of our Tech Family have the support they need during this difficult time.
Much as we did with the April 2019 tornado, we are working to compile a list of faculty and staff who have been affected by Hurricane Laura and who could use assistance in the recovery process. This could include – but is not limited to – damage to their homes, help cleaning up their yards, financial assistance, etc.
If you need help, please complete the form at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=JeWb3SSDHUK4oS2CLVmBAl4S1dMbCSBNsrbhCoyGjJRUNFkxTzdERDNZS0I1TjVYQVlLWjZMQldNVS4u so we can begin to connect our faculty and staff with needed resources.
The Lambright Sports and Wellness Center will be open from 5-9 a.m. and from 4-8 p.m. today. In the facility, free hot showers will be available for students, faculty, and staff.
As of this morning, I believe that power has been restored to all buildings on our main campus, but the South Campus is still without power.
Campus is open today, and we are here to assist our students, faculty, and staff who need us. Please reach out if you need help. I look forward to seeing you back on campus soon.