Coordinating UConn’s Response to Haiti Earthquake

President Hogan urges the community to work through the Office of Community Outreach.

In a message sent Tuesday morning, Jan. 19, University President Michael Hogan praised the numerous offers of support for Haiti from within the UConn community and announced that the administration will be coordinating assistance for the beleaguered nation among UConn students, faculty, and staff.

“I’m deeply moved by the many members of our UConn family who have contacted me asking how we can work together to assist,” wrote Hogan. “We recognize that many of you are interested in learning how you can help with efforts at relief and recovery. It’s clear that there will be a long period of recovery for those suffering from the losses incurred by this disaster.”

Hogan asked that the UConn response be coordinated through the Office of Community Outreach, which has established a website to help identify ways to help.

The site provides a list of agencies, such as the American Red Cross, to which Hogan encouraged people to contribute.

“These agencies are in the best position to facilitate efforts aimed at helping the people of Haiti; and they indicate that a monetary donation is the most effective way to help,” he wrote. “Regrettably, there are some who attempt to exploit these situations and establish fraudulent assistance sites. By working through the agencies listed on the above website, you’ll be less vulnerable to such scams.”

As a state agency, UConn must abide by rules that govern fundraising and related activities, added Hogan. The Office of Community Outreach has the expertise to assist in ensuring that any activities or events planned at UConn conform to those criteria, in addition to being most effective.

The office will provide information on its website regarding local fundraising events and activities. Hogan encouraged the University community to check the site regularly to learn about opportunities to contribute.

Those wishing to offer help to Haiti can also contact Gina DeVivo Brassaw in Community Outreach.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, the Office of Community Outreach is coordinating a University-wide meeting at 7 p.m. in the African American Cultural Center, located at the Student Union. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend.

While monetary donations are the best way to contribute at this point, any students who plan to travel to Haiti should first contact interim vice provost Douglas Hamilton, regarding any implications that may arise from missed classes. Faculty and staff should check with Vicki Fry in Human Resources regarding leave policies.

In his message, Hogan also said that at this point it appears all UConn personnel and students who are in Haiti have been accounted for. However, he urged anyone who is aware of a UConn student, faculty member, or staff person who is in Haiti and is missing or may be in need of assistance to contact him directly.

“As in our responses to past difficulties and needs,” wrote Hogan, “our UConn community continues to demonstrate that we not only have special talents to offer, but that we also care deeply about others.”