Though the Haitian Student Organization had its place in Temple University in the 1980s, it was not until 2002 that the organization was revived by Diana St. Arromand, a former president of the group. The idea behind the organization was for students to have a platform to immerse themselves in Haitian culture.
In recent events, the devastating earthquake and traumatic conditions in Haiti have generated much acknowledgment of the small impoverished Caribbean nation.
On Jan. 25, the Haitian Student Organization hosted a university-wide collection to benefit the victims of the earthquake. Volunteers accepted food, medical, baby and hygienic supplies as the collection ran from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers collected, boxed, and prepared the supplies for shipment as students and faculty made their donations to the cause.
“They’ve been doing everything they possibly can,” HSO President Karl-Lydie Jean-Baptiste, a senior journalism major, said. “Even if it’s the smallest way possible.”
While food was likely the most convenient donation for students to make, the various forms of donations all found success. A surprising part of the day came when a few pairs of crutches were donated, an item Jean-Baptiste said she didn’t expect to see.
“People in Haiti are in dire need of anything we can get,” HSO Public Relations Chair Regine Celius.
Joining the HSO’s efforts, other organizations committed to helping with the collection, including Phi Sigma Pi, Main Campus Programming Board and Student Activities.
Prior to the earthquake, the organization ran several activities and programs, including granting a scholarship to a high school senior in Little Haiti, Miami every year, as well as its signature event, “For the Love of Dance.”
Monetary donations to benefit the people of Haiti were encouraged to be sent to the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.