Tornado recovery continues across the Pine Belt, and William Carey students will remain without a campus–for an undetermined amount of time.
While the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have joined forces to bring relief across the tornado-torn areas, William Carey University, one of the hardest hit locations, is getting help from Southern Miss.
Dr. Rodney Bennett, president of Southern Miss, has said that students from William Carey are being housed in Hillcrest dorm, and have been dining in the cafeteria free of charge.
While these students have been invited to make themselves at home, Dr. Bennett has said that this gesture is meant to help the William Carey Crusaders hang in there during this trying time.
“Let me be clear that USM is not seeking to establish new avenues for William Carey students to transfer. Instead, we are committed to doing all that we can to provide the resources their students need while preserving their experience and identity as William Carey students as much as possible,” said Dr. Bennett in a statement.
“I have asked USM’s senior leadership to think openly and creatively about ways we can assist, and I encourage you to contact your supervisors or division vice presidents if you have ideas you wish to contribute.”
One of the ways the university is contributing is by sharing resources for medical students.
“It’s been incredible, without them, I don’t know what we would have done,” said Vogel. “They’re housing our students, they’re feeding our students.”
Southern Miss is helping William Carey medical students by assisting in putting together anatomy labs so the hands-on training can continue.
William Carey will not discontinue classes because of the storm, as students have too much to lose.
“William Carey is making every effort to get every class online as soon as possible,” said State Representative Larry Byrd. “They’re not going to be able to go back to campus… every building was damaged.”
Vogel said online classes are the only way to continue so that students won’t get behind.
“We’re on the trimester schedule,” said Vogel. “They’ll lose an entire semester if we don’t get online.”