WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Local efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey continue as now, WSU groups are organizing around providing aid for those affected by Harvey. As the initial shock of Harvey starts to die down, WSU”s Care Team is taking a closer look into their own back yard, to assist students on campus that may have ties to Houston. KSN visited the campus Tuesday to speak with students and staff about the climate on campus after Harvey.
“There are students on campus that are from Texas we just haven’t heard from them yet,” explained WSU’s student affairs vice president, Maureen Dasey-Morales. It’s possible that students don’t feel comfortable reaching out yet or are still caught up in the moment; trying to tend to family and friends.”
Morales says the first step is identifying which students have these ties to Houston and then accessing what their needs are.
“A big issue that serves as a red flag is attendance,” said Morales. “Students will just stop going to class, and while we want them to be responsible, we also want to hep navigate their needs.”
The Care Team originated in 2008 after the Virginia Tech massacre. This WSU group was originally designed as a threat assessment team but quickly realized WSU didn’t have those types of issues.
“We found that in preventing any type of larger scale problem, outreach is a major factor,” said Morales.
Over the years Care grew into a one-stop-shop to assist students in overcoming large-scale barriers, like Hurricane Harvey.
“My first thoughts were obviously concern for everyone involved and then my next immediate thought was, we probably have students worried about their family members or their homes or friends and how is this impacting them and what can we do to mediate that,” said Morales.
The outreach team is comprised of WSU staff members from multiple departments but with one common goal.
“This is really about helping students get connected on campus and feel like they have that extra support,” said Morales. ” A large portion of that is helping students reduce any barriers that are getting in the way of school.”