UVa Opens Doors To Hurricane Victims

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

September 4, 2005

Starting at a new school is difficult, but even more if you weren't prepared to leave the last one--literally

"I have a small red duffel bag that I got for free at the bank. I have this pair of jeans, three tee shirts, a pair of shorts. I left everything," said Tulane student Emily Hersh who just started at UVa.

Hersh, like so many others will start classes at UVa Monday--but the images of where she should be at school will follow her.

"I saw on the news the other night, my favorite restaurant with looters running by and police chasing them with guns and they were pulling signs off of things--I was like--stop it, I live there, don't do that. So that's hard," said Hersh.

There are well over 100 students in her position, most from Tulane, accepted over the course of the last few days.

"I called right away, about 8:30, went through the application process, they processed me as a visiting student application. They accepted me an hour later. I called them initially an hour later they called back and told me that I could get into the program," said Devin Hendricks a Tulane Student.

"We obviously went through an abbreviated process. We went by what the students told us. We're taking them at their word that they have the grades they say they have," said John Blackburn Dean of Admission.

Most who applied were accepted.

"[I] love it! I love the community here. UVa is a great place to be," Hendricks said.

Something making the transition a little easier is that they aren't alone.

"It's kind of nice having someone you can commiserate with and who's going through the same things--so it's nice," Hersh said.

Almost half of the incoming transfer students from New Orleans are first years.

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