BY DAN MACK, STAFF WRITER
Natural disasters are an ever-present threat, here at home and abroad. For several years, Susquehanna has been sending groups of students on service-learning trips to areas devastated by hurricanes, flooding and other disasters. Joining the effort this spring was the East Coast Hurricane ReliefTeam (ECHRT) a student organization that works to provide aid to affected areas. ECHRT traveled to New Jersey during spring break to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The team assisted with the rebuilding of houses, cleaning up of local rivers and providing relief and comfort to those who lived in the area.
Junior Steven Lipkowitz, of New Jersey, managed to catch a glimpse of what the ECHRT team was doing. “It was really impressive what they all did, giving up their break to help all these people,” he said. Many of the locals were deeply moved by the effort put into this trip by the Center for Civic Engagment (CCE) members and students.
ECHRT was founded this year after the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. Several students involved in ECHRT have had experience with other disaster relief trips. For example, several have been part of the Hurricane Relief Team that traveled to New Orleans to aid the people that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. These trips inspired the refounding of Disaster Response Team (DiRT) this year. “The spring break trips for DiRT are a huge deal and really inspiring,” said Eric Lassahn, director of Residence Life and Center for Civic Engagement. The Center for Civic Engagement holds programs akin to the disaster relief trips such as SU Give and SU Serve campaigns.
Sophomore Zachary Barker and president of DiRT, attended the volunteer trip, said he was “pleased with how smoothly everything went; we all had fun and did a good job.”