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SHU students raise money for Haiti

Students at Seton Hall University have come together to launch a campus-wide effort to help those affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti.

The Haitian Organization Promoting Education (HOPE) has created a committee, with the help of the Student Government Association and Campus Ministries, to organize a month-long series of events in February to benefit those affected by the disaster.

"As a Haitian organization on campus and also being Haitian American myself I thought that it was essential to systematize the various student organizations on campus," President of HOPE, Cassandra Germana said.

According to Germana, more than 15 organizations and clubs on campus have united to create a panel of executive board members and start to plan an effort in which the entire student body will work as one.

A few organizations involved in the effort include the Black Student Union, the African Student Union, The Filipino League at Seton Hall and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

"The committee is working to develop a month long programming series which will be made up of a combination of fund-raising events and programs" Alyssa Beck, member of the Haiti event committee and Division of Volunteer Efforts work-study employee, said. "Everyone has different strengths and talents, and the combination of those strengths makes for a powerful and effective force capable of getting a lot done."

The committee is looking to sell ribbons, table, host a bake sale and a work with Campus Ministry to have a Mass in honor of the victims.

One of the larger events HOPE is planning is "A Taste of Haiti," in which the culture of the Haitian people will be demonstrated through music and cuisine.

"There are so many misconceptions about the Haitian people and culture and we would like to bring awareness to such a beautiful culture," Germana said.

Beck visited Haiti on the DOVE service trip last June and stressed the importance of keeping the issue in the minds of students.

"I guess my biggest fear is that people will begin to forget about Haiti, and the importance and priority of the situation will be diminished."

She explained her fear that, though the issue is currently on the mind of the student body, without reinforcement the current on-campus drive to aid the nation will come to an end.

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According to Director of DOVE Michelle Peterson despite the current situation in Haiti, DOVE is still planning a service trip for the summer.

"I went to Haiti in 2008 and it was the worst poverty I have ever seen in my life," Peterson said. "I can't even imagine the impact this earthquake has had on the country and I know that they need our help now more than ever. This is going to be a long and difficult process but I am proud of our students for reacting the way that they have."

The club ice hockey team will be playing in the first annual New Jersey Ice Thriller" against NJIT on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Englewood Field Club. All proceeds from the game will go to UNICEF's Haiti Relief Fund. Tickets are currently on sale at the Recreational Services office in the Richie Reagan Center.

Alyana Alfaro can be reached at


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