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SMC supports tsunami relief

Julia Harris | Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This week Saint Mary’s students will empty their pockets to support relief efforts for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, the largest in the country’s history.

Student government has placed various canisters around Saint Mary’s campus this week to collect spare change and monetary donations from students, faculty and staff members. Designated canisters can be found in each of the residence halls on campus and the student government office located on the second floor of the College Student Center.

Teaming up with the American Red Cross, students will help provide food, shelter and emotional support for the victims of the natural disaster. The organization has agreed to match the total donation, doubling the funds that will be granted directly to the Japanese Red Cross.

Junior Elizabeth Busam said the tsunami relief effort is more than a collection of spare change. With family in Tokyo, Busam is personally affected by the tragedy.

She said she encourages members of the Saint Mary’s community to participate in the project.

“It’s great that students are willing to donate their money and show their support,” Busam said. “Any way, shape or form that the school can help is important.”

Student Government Association executive secretary Emily Skirtich said students should contribute as much as possible to relief efforts.

“We should extend our support and prayers to those affected,” Skirtich said. “We’ll do whatever we can to provide assistance to those in their time of need.”

As a community that values social responsibility, Saint Mary’s students and staff can contribute significantly to the tragedy in Japan, Busam said.

“If anything, everyone has become much more cautious,” Busam said. “If a country needs help, as students we should help where we can.”