Officials urge students impacted by Hurricane Irma to seek University support

Officials directly contacted more than 550 students from Florida and parts of the Caribbean last week, making them aware of mental health and student support services as their communities dealt with the threat of Hurricane Irma, according to a release Monday.

Tracy Arwari, the director of student support and family engagement, urged students to seek help from Mental Health Services, the Division of Student Affairs or their resident advisers if they needed assistance from the University. Officials also encouraged students concerned about one of their peers to submit a CARE report, potentially connecting the student with a range of University offices and services.

“We are ready to provide support for our students as they may need it, and encourage them to reach out to campus resources for additional assistance,” Arwari said in the release.

The messages were sent to more than 500 students who live in Florida and about 50 from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands, according to the release. Irma devastated several islands last week as a Category 5 storm and lashed Florida Sunday with strong winds and damaging storm surge.

DSA officials also sent emails Monday to students living in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, which also felt the impact of Irma, and Western states dealing with severe wildfires, according to the release.

Officials made a similar statement after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in southeast Texas last month. The Student Association and the DSA raised funds for the Ron Howard Student Foundation, an emergency scholarship available to storm victims.

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