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Relief for Haiti Equals Comfort for Diversity

Last semester there were problems that made many question the Center of Student Diversity’s commitment such as the article, TU’s diversity a joke. Towson University’s CSD has made a asserted effort to increase student involvement, understanding, and financial aid within different cultures.

On February 25 the university held TU 4 Haiti, a fundraising concert where all the funds would be collected to assist Haiti in their relief efforts. The event was created from the ideas from both the Black Student Union and Brotherhood, the university’s debate team.

Natural disasters are destructive forces that have no regard for whatever is in the way. Houses and buildings take massive damages, cars are flipped over, and streets suffer punishment from the harsh conditions. The worst case scenario is death.

Haiti was ravaged by an earthquake on January 12, 2010 with a 7.0 magnitude. Millions of citizens were in need of medical attention and more than 100,000 people were confirmed dead. The catastrophe was all but avoidable.

“It (Haiti) is on a horrible fault line,” said William Kiskowska, a teacher’s aide in the geography department at Towson University. “The best thing to do would be to let people leave Haiti and find a place that’s more sustainable.”

But there are two things that may be affected more than any of the fore mentioned occurrences – people’s spirits and finances.

Adam Jackson, senior and president of Brotherhood, came up with the idea of TU 4 Haiti while sitting on a couch in his apartment with friends.

“We were talking about what we were going to do during the semester and all of a sudden, I just brought up the idea that we should have a relief concert for Haiti,” Jackson said.

Baltimore had its share of influential weather elements that caused roadblocks in Jackson’s plans. Over time he and his board wanted to get more people involved but the blizzard caused many to have rescheduling problems making it hard for them to commit to the concert. After multiple date changes, TU 4 Haiti had a set date.

TU 4 Haiti had a deeper meaning for many students than just a concert. Images shown through television and the internet left mental scars in the heads of those that saw them.

“I was in a friend’s room hanging out,” said Courtney Chang, a sophomore at Towson. “The news was on in the background as the death toll rose higher and higher as the hours progressed.”

Calvin Little, sophomore and member of Brotherhood, was in the comforts of his home along with his parents when he first heard about the earthquake in Haiti.

“I was quite shocked,” Little said. “I actually saw pictures on TV and it took me in amazement because the devastation over there was horrific.”

Just as the time for TU 4 Haiti came near, people waited in a line that reached all the way from Paws that looped around to the entrance of the University Union. Students, faculty, and student organization members were all there to attend.

The Student Government Association took an active role in helping the BSU and Brotherhood with this event. They allocated the space and acquired the resources needed for the event.

“I’m here to support Adam Jackson and other officials who are part of this great effort,” said Emmanuel Welsh, a senator of the SGA. “And of course to do my part to support Haiti.”

Welsh said that the SGA unfortunately hasn’t been active in supporting efforts involving the CSD, but he hopes that next year they will have a major role in events such as TU 4 Haiti.

When people were finally let into Paws for the concert, the place buzzed with the sounds of chatter. There were booths that were selling different things such as baked goods, t-shirts, and other trinkets.

After a long wait students rush into Paws to be the first to buy some of the available goodies and a good seat for the concert. (Photo by Jordan Russell/ Towson University Student)

Small green buckets could be seen within the sea of college students. Volunteers with buckets went all throughout Paws and the University Union gathering donations from as many students as they could.

“I’m from one of the poorest countries in the world, Columbia, and I can feel these people’s (Haitian’s) pain,” said Melissa Hanky, member of Latin American Student Organization. “I was on the street ,too, so I know what it’s like and I totally want to help them.”

Jackson was pleased with the results of TU 4 Haiti. By the end of the concert, the university raised well over $1000 dollars and over 100 pounds of new clothing for the people of Haiti. Jackson said that if there are events for the recently affected Chile and Japan, they will be educational forums to teach the history of those countries.

“In terms of diversity, it (Towson University) is moving in the right direction,” Jackson said. “But we need to start running instead of walking towards the end goal of diversity.”



1. ndiadhiou - March 8, 2010

I’m proud that Towson University students are digging deep into their pockets to help out the less fortunate! Good deeds are always reciprocated in some way 🙂

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