Staff and students helping New Orleans rebuild


Gadula and Ryrie

Two staff members from the Department of Residences and about 53 students are in New Orleans this week helping Habitat for Humanity.

Colin Ryrie and Curtis Gadula, two residence life co-ordinators, took a bus to Louisiana with student volunteers living in residence as part of a Service Learning project.  The team will help build houses in parts of New Orleans still damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

“We wanted something that would be enticing to students,” Ryrie said. “New Orleans is something that isn’t as much on people’s radars, but still something we all recognize needs attention.”

The alternate reading week program has been so successful that more than 80 students applied to participate, which created a waiting list. In addition to Habitat for Humanity work, the students will participate in various cultural programs and events and learn more about how the hurricane has impacted residents.

“With 53 people, (the students) have the potential to take away something huge from this,” Gadula said.

The group is in New Orleans from Feb. 19 to 28.

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