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Senate Beat: How ONU students can donate to Hurricane Harvey relief fund

The ONU Student Senate emphasized the need for students to donate to the university's Hurricane Harvey relief effort at Wednesday's meeting. (Northern Review photo/ Grant Pepper)

This year, the Northern Review will begin the “Senate Beat,” where our staff will cover Student Senate meetings and activities. In doing so, the Northern Review aims to keep the campus community informed on the efforts of its campus government like never before.

Shortly after the Student Senate recited the Pledge of Allegiance, said a prayer and approved the minutes of last week’s meeting, the mood quickly shifted during Wednesday’s general assembly meeting in the McIntosh Activities Room.

Dr. Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw, Dean of Students and Senate advisor, silenced the room with a moving plea to the student senators: Houston needs help. As student representatives, the Senate must spread the message.

With Hurricane Harvey ravaging the Gulf Coast, and especially Houston, TX, this past week, Ohio Northern chaplain David MacDonald has provided an avenue for students to donate to the relief fund.

Click here for more Senate Beat coverage

Students can donate a number of cleaning items and/or money to the chapel to help those in need. The deadline for donations is Tuesday (find details on how and what to donate below).

Senate vice president Mary Komandt echoed Bradshaw’s message, as she said that it is the Senate’s responsibility to spread the word about how ONU students can help.

“I think it’s really important for our student body to provide for people who, right now, have nothing. Anything helps,” Komandt said. “Especially on Senate; as leaders on campus, it’s important for us to try to rally some donations and make an effective donation from our school down there.”

MacDonald has placed boxes in the hallways outside the chapel sanctuary and in the hallway outside of his office, where students and faculty can donate the cleaning items listed below.

Monetary donations are also being accepted, as donors can make checks out to Ohio Northern University with “Hurricane relief” in the memo line.

MacDonald said in his student-l message this week that the deadline for donations will be the end of the day on Tuesday. After that, the university will pack up the cleaning buckets and prepare them for shipment to the affected hurricane zone through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

“It’s very impactful if every person could just get one item on the list that chaplain MacDonald has sent to all of campus,” Komandt said. “They’re cleaning products, so some people may even have them on a shelf at home and not even realize their impact. You know, I might not be using this, but it could impact and change someone’s life.”

In other Senate news, Komandt reported that 199 families had signed up for Family and Siblings Weekend, which was 50 more than last week. Siblings Weekend, which Senate president Drew Goehmann characterized as “one of our biggest events of the year,” will run from Sept. 15-17.

The weekend will feature family-oriented events around campus, including improv comedy, a magician, food trucks and more. While the university previously hosted “Family Weekend,” Siblings Weekend is an original Senate idea that was just launched this past spring.

Senate engineering college representative Alex Sibila said that the event could help lure potential students to ONU.

“Obviously, parents are encouraged to come. But I think that bringing siblings on as well is good for the university because it shows them the campus,” Sibila said last week on Sportsbeat 94.9’s The Pep Talk. “Like, I know I didn’t start going on college visits until I was a junior in high school, so I think the earlier the better. It’s good to get kids exposed to ONU and the different things we have to offer.”

To register for Siblings Weekend, click here. Registration is free. Senate is also selling Sibs Weekend t-shirts for $10.