Not your average Spring Break: SU law students help rebuild New Orleans
Not your average Spring Break: SU law students help rebuild New OrleansMarch 10, 2006Jaclyn D. Grossojgrosso@law.syr.edu
It isn’t the Spring Break beach party most students dream of, but the devastated Gulf Coast is the destination of choice for nine Syracuse University College of Law students. Instead of high-rise hotels with beach access, they’ll be staying at Camp Algiers, a FEMA tent camp for the U.S. military and civilian disaster volunteers, starting March 12.
“Our work will directly impact the lives of people who have been devastated in the New Orleans area,” says Angela Cruz, a third-year law student and New Orleans native. “I know first-hand how bad the situation still is and that I’ll be able to help make a difference in just a short time.”
Cruz, who canceled her original vacation plans to aid in the disaster relief effort, is no stranger to this cause. She’s already raised more than $10,000 through her Syracuse Cares T-shirt campaign for Hurricane Katrina Relief through the American Red Cross.
Now to continue her work, she’ll welcome two first-year law students, Dewitt Lu and Tyson Hubbard, and six third-year law students — Jeremy Atkins, Mike Smith, Damian Fischer, Sharonne Blevins, Spencer Bates and Jonny Haug — when they arrive in the Crescent City for their six-day trip.
“I am rather anxious to see what New Orleans looks like,” Hubbard says. “We may only be able to affect the lives of a few people, but that is still important. At a time like this, I think all Americans need to step up and help this city when it is at its weakest.”
The team is scheduled to do contracting work such as sheet rocking, gutting and bleaching of homes with the Common Ground organization and painting and gardening with the Rally for New Orleans Public Schools organization.
“Getting the schools to reopen gives people a sense of normalcy,” Cruz says. “The housing situation is so bad right now people need to return to activities that they can feel good about. We’re helping them get a fresh start.”
For more on the law students’ efforts to rebuild New Orleans, see their logsat http://neworleans.lawblog.syr.edu.