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Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2005

Indiana University is giving victims of Hurricane Katrina a Hoosier welcome

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington is extending a Hoosier welcome to victims of Hurricane Katrina, who include current IU students from the disaster area as well as those enrolled in institutions there who wish to continue their education here.

A special telephone number and Web site have been created to provide timely and useful information. Students and families may call 866-264-2491or go online to for up-to-date information about campus counseling and financial assistance services.

In the past 48 hours, the IU Bloomington campus has heard from dozens of families inquiring about admission to the university. The majority of these calls have been from families of students who were admitted to IU but chose to go to Tulane University. IU is doing everything possible to help them and students from other universities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to enroll. Close to 20 students have been admitted thus far and more are arriving this week.

"We are going to do our best to help the students most in need," said Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, IU senior vice president for academic affairs and Bloomington chancellor. "Efforts have been under way over the past few days, and we have already helped several students. I know that everyone in the IU community -- faculty, staff, students and alumni -- will come together to help.

"I have always been impressed with the willingness of Hoosiers to help in a time of crisis," said Gros Louis, who has been at the university since 1964.

The Office of Admissions, Office of the Registrar, University Division and many other IU offices are streamlining the process for when these students arrive. Residential Programs & Services will be accommodating their housing needs, and the offices of Student Financial Assistance and the Bursar will work with the families regarding fees.

Current IUB students whose families have been victims of the hurricane will be contacted directly by the Dean of Students office. Those whose funds are locked up as a result of the disaster may contact the IU Office of Student Financial Assistance at 812-855-0321. IUB now has just under 100 students from the affected areas.

IU also is accommodating students in the National Guard who have been called to serve in hurricane search and rescue efforts. Students who are reservists who have been called up should contact the Office of the Registrar at 812-855-0121 or go to Franklin Hall 100 and ask for Dot Kemp. The university has been dealing with this issue since the beginning of the Iraq war.

Discussions among student organizations to support disaster relief efforts are under way, but no efforts can be announced. The university also has received offers from IU alumni to provide temporary housing to families of IU students from the affected area. Those who wish to offer assistance to these students may contact

Other IU campuses including IU Northwest ( and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis have also joined other institutions nationwide that are assisting New Orleans students whose fall semesters were disrupted by the hurricane.