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Residence Life seeks student volunteers

Chloe Durden, Emily Harvey, Holly Wells and Maddie Reece have volunteered to host international students from Jacksonville University in their suite.
Chloe Durden, Emily Harvey, Holly Wells and Maddie Reece have volunteered to host international students from Jacksonville University in their suite.

Students have been asked to open up their dorm rooms to help international students from Florida.

Jacksonville University has announced that their doors will be closed Sept. 8 through Sept. 12 due to Category 5 Hurricane Irma, according to the school’s website.

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As of 9/8/2017,  Jacksonville students have been advised to seek shelter at their school rather than traveling to Georgia. However, the Mercer administration has extended their offer to students who are evacuating Mercer's Medical School campus in Savannah according to Dean of Students Douglas Pearson. Student volunteers in Macon should stay tuned for more details from the university.

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The university said that the effects of the hurricane could begin as early as Sept. 9. Although the website said that the school has not been ordered to evacuate yet, they are encouraging students to take precautions.

For international students, leaving campus isn’t so simple.

“International students really don’t have a place to go whenever you evacuate, so that makes it challenging for them,” Christian Wells, Mercer’s assistant director of Residence Life said.

Wells said that because of this, Mercer’s office of Residence Life decided to offer to host the international students from Jacksonville.

“We [are] trying to create a partnership especially in emergency situations and so since the hurricane is coming unfortunately, we [were hoping we] could get students to volunteer to host students,” she said. “We’re a university that really prides on helping others, and this was a perfect opportunity.”

Wells said that they have already received responses from Mercer students who have offered to volunteer.

"Students have been wonderful,” she said. “Hopefully we get some more students to volunteer because it will be potentially up to 200 students that could be [here].”

The students were notified of the opportunity to volunteer through their respective resident assistants (RA).

“[In order to volunteer], students should contact their RA or honestly any RA has access to [the] list [of volunteers],” Resident Assistant Amina Mohamed said.

Mohamed said students should let resident assistants or the Office of Residence Life know if they would like to volunteer before 5 p.m. on Sept. 7.


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