UB students come together to help with hurricane relief efforts
Lauren Burd blocks a WMU attempt in the last regular season match for the UB volleyball team. Image Contributor
White T-shirts displaying this slogan can be seen throughout campus, the glaring UB blue letters offering strength and solidarity. The shirts are being sold for $5 in Campus Tees and at the SBI Ticket Office. All proceeds will go to the Red Cross to help victims affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The white and blue shirts were designed by Ned Semoff, a senior communication design major. As a graphic designer, he played with words and UB until he came up with a design that didn't mention disaster. It is simple enough that students will want to buy them and it gets across the point of relief, according to Semoff.
The shirts are a symbol of more than raising money. They were designed on Friday afternoon and all the organizations on campus worked together to get them printed and able to be sold on Monday morning, according to Semoff,
"I think it is interesting how a lot of the students, when something like this happens and when it hits home, seeing how students react to it," Semoff said. "It's amazing how students are dropping everything and working together."
The Student Association ordered 500 T-shirts to start and it hopes at $5 each, SA will raise at least $2,500. If Campus Tees and the SBI Ticket Office run out of shirts, they will order more.
"It's a group effort," Semoff said. "We represent the students. We want to make sure the students who want to help out can. It's not just SA clubs; individual students are all working together, even those who weren't affected."
Samuel Hakim, a junior communication major, is doing everything he can to help his hometown of Long Beach, N.Y. while continuing his schooling at UB. He thinks it's important for students to stand together and do something proactive to support and help the victims of the hurricane.
Hakim said not all students are working together, but that is to be expected.
"There is definitely an out-of-sight, out-of-mind factor that upstate students have," Hakim said. "Downstate students are obviously going to take more notice on the situation because it hurt them directly, while upstate students will probably put it in the back of their minds simply because they were not affected."
Semoff's family was affected by the hurricane's wrath.
His mother, who lives in Manhattan, has been unable to get into her 34th-floor apartment because there is no electricity. She can't walk up 34 flights of stairs without heat. Her home won't be fixed for another two weeks.
"Most people have no heat or power," Semoff said. "I'd rather have that than not have a home at all. A lot of students are dealing with that. I think it's horrible certain students lost so much."
Hakim is also one of those students. His home in Long Beach is flooded and unlivable. His town won't have power, sewage systems or clean water until next week, and people have taken to looting other houses for supplies, according to Hakim.
"Everyone is still staying strong," Hakim said. "It does not matter how big or small the donation is. The people downstate see that others are acknowledging their situation. It helps."
If students want to help with the relief efforts, they can donate blood in the Red Cross blood drives occurring all week, purchase a T-shirt from Campus Tees or the SBI Ticket Office or go to Stay-Up UB this Saturday - portions of their profits will go toward the Red Cross.
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