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Syracuse University students spend winter break trips in New Orleans
Syracuse University students spend winter break trips in New OrleansJanuary 05, 2006Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Twenty-seven Syracuse University students will spend Jan. 7-14, the last week of their winter break, immersed in civic engagement, learning and reflection while focusing on the cleanup and recovery in New Orleans and surrounding areas that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
The Rev. Kelly Sprinkle, chaplain of Hendricks Chapel’s Protestant Campus Ministry, will lead a group of nine students, an SU alumnus and an SU staff member. “After the hurricane, the Protestant Campus Ministry leadership team began discussing what we could do,” Sprinkle says. “This trip grew out of our need to learn about and address some of the systemic issues surrounding the hurricane’s devastation, such as environmental racism.”
Father Tim Mulligan, OFM Conv., Catholic chaplain, will lead 18 students from the John G. Alibrandi Jr. Catholic Center in a trip to New Orleans to participate in Operation Helping Hands, a program sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
During the trip, the Protestant Campus Ministry group will stay at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie. The students will not only learn, but be put to work in tearing down and cleaning up some of the destruction left behind. “This will be far from the typical New Orleans vacation,” Sprinkle says. The trip is has been partially funded by a Feinstone Grant for Multicultural Activities awarded through Syracuse University.
The Alibrandi group is participating with three other universities in the weeklong Catholic Charities program, and will stay at Crescent House in New Orleans, a former shelter for battered women. The trip builds on the Alibrandi Center’s earlier efforts, including a second collection during Masses and two chicken dinners that raised more than $2,300, to offer assistance to the hurricane victims.