September 15, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

President Carvajal Encourages VSU Community to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts

At 3:53 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of Valdosta State University, issued the following letter to all faculty, staff, and students, encouraging them to support Hurricane Irma relief efforts in South Georgia and Florida. 


Greetings, Blazer Nation!
After much preparation on the part of our students, faculty, and staff, we are happy to report that the VSU campus emerged from Hurricane Irma with no structural damage or flooding. Though some areas of campus saw power outages, network disruption, and debris, our on-campus students and staff remained safe during the storm. We are grateful for the hard work and long hours put in by our student leaders in the residence halls, our Housing and Residence Life staff, our Auxiliary Services and Blazer Dining teams, our facilities staff, and our Communications team for keeping everyone safe, fed, and informed.
As we resume normal operations and classes today, many families and communities in our area are still without power, water, and essential supplies. The Blazer Creed calls our campus community to citizenship, where every Blazer has an interest in the well-being of the community and, therefore, a duty to make positive contributions and to offer support to those who need help.
Many of you have already contacted the Division of Student Affairs and university leadership asking how you can best serve the Hurricane Irma relief efforts through service and/or donations. The Office of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services (OSLVS) is coordinating service and donation efforts for the university and offers opportunities below to give back to South Georgia and Florida.
The OSLVS is coordinating a Food and Toiletries Drive for Irma victims Sept. 18-29. They are seeking the following items at the collection center in the Blazer Pantry, which is located on the first floor of the Student Union across from the theatre:
• Bottled Water
• Canned ready-to-eat items with pull tops: vegetables, fruit, whole-grain pasta, cereal, and rice
• Protein in pouches or pull-top cans: tuna, beef stew, chili, canned chicken
• Peanut butter
• Snacks: granola bars, breakfast bars, etc.
• Toiletries: shampoo, soap, feminine products, toilet paper, tissues, deodorant, shaving items
• Paper goods
• Baby supplies: diapers, wipes, hygiene products, powdered baby formula
• Cleaning supplies: mops, mop buckets, brooms, bleach wipes, bleach, garbage bags, apple cider vinegar
If students, staff, or faculty would like to volunteer to assist in sorting and distributing, please let Niki Turley in the OSLVS know. For more information, contact Niki Turley at or 229-293-6203.
Students wishing to contribute financially to relief efforts should do so in the form of gift cards (to be dropped off in the OSLVS in the Student Union) or donate to the American Red Cross.
If you or your organization would like to aid the relief efforts through service in affected areas, please contact the Office of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services for planning materials, information on areas in need, and coordination with your academic and extracurricular schedule. In situations like this, emergency and disaster relief personnel urge the importance of not self-deploying to affected areas, so please, stay safe and help VSU concentrate its relief efforts for the greater good of South Georgia and Florida.
As we resume classes this week, please keep those displaced or affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey in your thoughts. I am proud to be a part of a campus community that immediately looks for opportunities to serve others and improve the region we call home. Thank you for all you do!
Go Blazers!
Richard A. Carvajal, Ph.D.