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Students raise money for Sandy relief

SUNY Plattsburgh students are joining forces to raise funds for the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief effort.

Organizations, individual students, sororities and fraternities have staged coin drives in the residence halls, are hosting tabling events at the Angell College Center and Champlain Centre Mall and will be engaging in other efforts in the coming weeks.

“A couple of days after the hurricane hit, administrators of student affairs got together to discuss the fundraising efforts we knew the student groups were involved in,” said Allison Swick-Duttine, director of fraternity/sorority life and organization development at SUNY Plattsburgh.

About 20 percent of the college’s student population hails from the regions most heavily impacted by the storm.

“We knew many students were going to try to do things for the victims,” Swick-Duttine said. “We thought we’d try to harness their efforts to make a bigger impact.”

An initial meeting was held Nov. 1 where some 35 students, representing residence hall councils, organizations, clubs, fraternities and sororities across campus came to assist in the campaign. They discussed various fundraising options and efforts to increase involvement.

Kathryn Castillo, a senior anthropology major from the Bronx, said that while she has been involved in community service and fundraising events throughout her years at SUNY Plattsburgh, Hurricane Sandy hit close to home.

“We didn’t have much damage at our home, but we were really fortunate compared to so many others.”

Castillo headed an effort on Nov. 17 at the Champlain Centre Mall where she and other volunteers accepted donations for the Red Cross disaster relief.

“We’ll be selling ribbons for a donation. The Red Cross will be there as well,” she said. “It is my goal to reach the entire community. I know they want to put efforts into helping, and this is an important way. We know the Red Cross doesn’t need canned goods or clothing, and sometimes people don’t know what else to do.”

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