The message below was sent Sept. 29, 2017, to the university community regarding disaster response and recovery following hurricanes Irma and Maria:
Dear members of the FIU community,
The unfolding post-hurricane tragedy in the Caribbean is now coming clearly into view. Members of the FIU family with ties to the region are going through a difficult time as they try to connect with and assist family and friends in the islands hardest hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria. The challenges there on the ground are monumental. Our Interdisciplinary Disaster Task Force is coordinating university efforts to assist with the recovery. Our engagement can make a difference for so many there whose homes and lives have been changed, perhaps forever.
Out-of-state tuition waiver
Our top priority is to support our university community. This is why we are answering Governor Rick Scott’s call to offer current FIU students from Puerto Rico who have been impacted or displaced a waiver of the out-of-state fee for tuition purposes. At FIU, we are extending this benefit to students from the U.S. Virgin Islands as well.
This fall, these students are eligible to apply for a refund of the out-of-state fee for tuition purposes, and in the spring, the university will waive that fee. In collaboration with the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, the university, through the Florida Caribbean Institute, also will make resources available for other eligible FIU students from the Caribbean who have been displaced by the hurricanes. The university will be sending additional information to currently affected students. In the interim, any questions may be directed to FIUStrong@FIU.edu or you may call 305-348-3481.
Additionally, students from Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands eligible for enrollment at FIU who relocate to our area as a result of the hurricanes and wish to continue their post-secondary education may apply for a waiver of the out-of-state fee once they are admitted to the university.
Another way we know we can have an immediate impact is by offering financial assistance to affected members of the university community. Earlier this week, the FIU Foundation established the Disaster Response and Recovery Fund. One hundred percent of the money raised through this fund will go to helping those impacted. Please consider making a donation.
A committee made up of the chair of the Faculty Senate, the president of the Student Government Association at MMC, a member of the Foundation Board of Directors and the chair of the Interdisciplinary Disaster Task Force will make funding recommendations to the Office of the President.
One of the key ways in which this fund will help is by giving direct assistance to our students, faculty and staff whose families may find themselves in financial distress because of the storms. We will work hard to make sure our students from affected areas are able to stay in school and continue to progress toward their degrees. We also are in the process of reaching out to faculty and staff who may have been impacted.
Other resources for those affected by the storms
- Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Employee Assistance and the TLC Brigade stand ready to help students, faculty and staff who need support dealing with the stress and other burdens associated with the recent storms.
- Students who have a need not addressed by other available resources may write to FIUStrong@FIU.edu for guidance and assistance. Please include contact information and Panther ID.
- The FIU Food Pantry at MMC and BBC is available to all students. The pantry also takes donations.
- Businesses of all sizes can apply for loans through the Small Business Administration.
The strength and values of our university community are most evident in times of need.