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Katrina evacuees cause concern


By Evan Pellegrino
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 14, 2005
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Hurricane Katrina forced thousands of students to relocate, some of whom transferred to the UA and were allowed to jump into classes two weeks into the semester regardless of class availability.

Thirty evacuee students from the Gulf Coast have transferred to the university and have been admitted into classes, said Jerry Hogle, vice provost for instruction.

The evacuee students were added to classes in accordance with their areas of study, Hogle said.

But there are some students who had a hard time getting classes they need to fulfill their graduation requirements who are less than thrilled to hear the evacuees were added to full classes.

Pre-business sophomore Emily Knapp said that although she sympathizes with the hurricane's victims, she "sympathizes more with people already enrolled at UA needing to get into classes."

Knapp suggested that perhaps other universities around the nation may have "less of a problem" with class waiting lists, and those schools "would be more fit to accommodate the evacuees."

Dan Martin, an ecology and evolutionary biology sophomore, wrote that he also thinks administration should take care of its own students before accommodating evacuees.

"The fact is that too many students on the UA campus have already gone without the classes they need and that issue needs to be addressed," before accommodating the hurricane evacuees, Martin wrote in a letter to the editor that was published in Thursday's Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Because the evacuees come from many different majors, they were distributed into a wide range of classes, with no more than one or two evacuees added to one class, Hogle said.

"They didn't over-burden any classes," Hogle said.

The majority of the evacuee students who came to the UA were previously attending, or enrolled to attend Tulane University in New Orleans prior to Katrina, Hogle said.

Arrangements were made with Tulane and other universities to make sure all of the evacuee's credits would transfer to UA, said Hogle.

Despite some student complaints, there are also students who are waiting for classes who don't think it's unreasonable to allow the evacuees a seat.

Andrew Gauvin, a pre-business sophomore, said he was unable to take economics 200, a class he needs to get into the Eller College of Management, because there was no more room.

He is currently on a waiting list for the course with 200 other people, he said.

Even though Gauvin was not added to the class, he said it was "an act of good will" to add the displaced Louisiana students.

"We can make a few extra spots," Gauvin said. "I had trouble getting a class, but these people lost a lot."

Rajinder Randhawa, a biology junior who was previously enrolled at Tulane, said he is grateful administration added him to the classes he needed, having already gone through a tiring ordeal.

"Everyone's been really helpful," Randhawa said.

David Levkowitz, an anthropology major and previous student at the University of New Orleans, said he is thankful that administration has been so accommodating.

"I'm grateful to be able to continue my education," Levkowitz said. "It's a new start."



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