By Brittany Urick ’10
Despite the stress surrounding exam period, students have joined together to support the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12. Almost immediately after the crisis made headlines, e-mail inboxes and Facebook feeds were flooded with information about how to donate to Haiti through various channels.
On the evening of Jan. 13, Rev. Deborah Blanks and Rev. Paul Raushenbush, the associate deans of religious life, and Catholic chaplain Father Tom Mullelly led a prayer service that included readings and songs delivered in Creole. Two students, Marlise Jean-Pierre ’12 and Esther Clovis ’12, helped to organize the gathering, and 80 students attended. The following day, a vigil in the University Chapel drew hundreds of students and members of the campus community, including staff who have relatives in Haiti. On Jan. 19, students were encouraged to wear red to show support for Haiti, emphasizing that the victims and their families have not been forgotten.
Alexandra Baptiste ’13, whose parents were born in Haiti, felt comforted by the concern from her peers during this difficult time.
“I think Princeton students have been really supportive and understanding thus far,” Baptiste said. “They have been really eager to help, which is fantastic. I only hope that the drive I see in them does not die. This is going to be a long process for Haiti, and a lot more support will be needed.”
Students have begun to contribute to the relief effort by organizing fundraisers. A bake sale is currently being held in Frist Campus Center to raise money that will be sent to Haiti through the International Red Cross, and a series of events will follow over the coming month. In addition, many students have expressed interest in traveling to Haiti to participate in relief efforts on the ground, though little information has been available on how to do so, given the chaos that has engulfed the country.