Students Initiate Haiti Relief Efforts


Members of Arete, a Bethel University student organization, present a check to Bethel President Bob Prosser that will be matched by an anonymous donor and will be given to help with Haiti relief efforts. Arete was one of many Bethel University student organizations that raised money to help with relief efforts after the country experienced a devastating earthquake earlier this year.

Bethel University’s students have initiated a number of events recently that have raised funds for relief efforts following a devastating earthquake in Haiti.
     Zeta Nu Theta sorority and Kappa Phi Rho fraternity raised close to $300 collecting loose change from fellow students, while a number of Bethel’s Greek groups including Psi Theta Phi, Alpha Phi Sigma, Beta Sigma Rho, Psi Gamma Phi, Kappa Kappa Psi and Kappa Phi Rho held a Haiti Relief Bash and raised more than $100. The brothers of Phi Beta Sigma worked at E.W. James Supermarket in McKenzie as bag boys for the day, and their tips brought in a little more than $300 for relief efforts.
     Arete, a civic organization on campus, quickly jumped on the opportunity when an anonymous donor approached Bethel with the idea of matching any money raised by an organization to give to Haiti relief.
     “These kids worked really hard,” said Stacie Freeman, assistant professor of sociology at Bethel and Arete advisor. “The students ended up raising a little more than $618 that will be matched. That’s more than $1,200 that will go toward relief efforts.”
     Dr. Ray Smith, an instructor in Bethel’s College of Professional Studies, wrote an e-mail on Feb. 11 from Haiti where he was serving as a special representative for the YMCA-USA.
     “Words cannot adequately describe the conditions here,” said Smith, who had lived in Haiti from 1977 until 1984. “Many problems are yet to be encountered as the rains come and the malnutrition and other maladies begin to plague these already devastated people.”
     “To know that our students have helped to ease this devastation is a good feeling,” said Bethel President Bob Prosser. “I am very proud that they took the initiative to do this.”
     Victoria Ard, who coordinates student activities at Bethel, agreed with President Prosser.
     “I am so proud of them,” she said. “Not only was money raised, but when the Red Cross announced that they were nearly out of blood due to the Haiti disaster, our students got the word out, and instead of the usual 40 or so pints of blood that are typically gathered during a campus blood drive, there were 75 pints drawn.”