By Giri Nathan ’13
It took an earthquake for the world to realize Haiti’s plight, but the nation is ready to re-create itself, said Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, in a speech on campus April 6.
“This earthquake has shaken up everything, and everyone,” Joseph told a full audience at Dodds Auditorium. “You’ll never be able to put Humpty Dumpty together the same way.”
Joseph recounted much of Haiti’s troubled history, but stressed the current opportunity to rebuild anew with international attention. “I see a silver lining in it already, because for the first time, people are just focusing on Haiti,” he said.
Decentralization will be crucial to the rise of a “new Haiti,” according to Joseph. In the past, everything was concentrated in Port-au-Prince, he said, including the airport, the seaport, the University of Haiti, and cultural resources.
A New York Times profile of billionaire financier Carl Icahn ’57 asks “Does Icahn still make them tremble?” [New York Times]
Reviewer Douglas Brinkley calls David Remnick ’81‘s new biography, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, a “flawlessly written” exploration of the president. [Los Angeles Times]
Sophie LaMontagne ’00, co-owner of the popular D.C. bakery Georgetown Cupcake, will soon co-star in a TLC reality show, Cupcake Sisters. [Politico]
By Samantha Pergadia ’11
On Jan. 12 Miriam Camara ’10 was surfing the Web when she stumbled upon news of the Haiti earthquake on Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell’s Twitter account. Although Camara was raised in New York, her mother is from Haiti and has strong ties to the many members of her family in Port-au-Prince. “I called my mother immediately and she was in tears,” Camara said.
Camara, who lost two uncles in the disaster, worked with two other Haitian-American students, Astrid Rousseau ’10 and Emmanuelle Pierre ’10, to help plan a series of campus activities in support of Haitian relief efforts. A bake sale in Frist Campus Center raised $1,200 in three days immediately following the earthquake, and fundraising by the Undergraduate Student Government to support Partners in Health reached nearly $8,000.
The University’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program offered free counseling services in the wake of the earthquake. According to Alison Nelson, director of benefits, at least 10 staff members used the counseling services. “There were those looking for ways to assist relatives and friends, and many employees who were distraught and in tears over this situation,” Nelson said. Haitian members of the University community formed a committee for support and communication. “The emotions are now best characterized as a strong determination to go to Haiti and support the rebuilding process,” said Pierre Joanis, director of labor relations.
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.”
Forty-eight hours after a massive earthquake struck Haiti, several hundred members of the Princeton community attended a solemn candlelight vigil for Haiti Jan. 14 in the University Chapel. In the face of “suffering and loss beyond comprehension,” Dean of Religious Life Alison Boden said, the gathering prayed for “safety, solace, rescue, and restoration” and to “kindle the flames of hope that no catastrophe can extinguish.”
Julus Charles, a native of Haiti who works as a sous chef for Princeton’s Dining Services, expressed gratitude for support from the University and for U.S. relief efforts. “We are a deeply spiritual people in Haiti,” Charles said. “We are going to survive this … and be a stronger nation.” Dining Services has more than 50 employees with families in Haiti, he said. The University said in a statement that no currently enrolled students were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. By W. Raymond Ollwerther ’71