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SMC Response to the Japanese Disaster

Dear College Community,

With the rest of the world, our hearts and prayers here at Santa Monica College are with the people of Japan, particularly those who have been hard hit by the recent earthquake, tsunami and now the threat of radiation leakage from a nuclear power plant. We are especially concerned about the many Japanese students we have here at the college, along with our large group of Japanese alumni and anyone in our college community who has relatives and friends there.

I want to give you an update on what we as a college community are doing to respond to the disaster, what plans are afoot to help, and what you, as individuals, can do to assist the international relief effort.

Our International Education Center has been doing all that it can to assist our Japanese students. Students who have not been able to locate their family or friends are being assisted directly by the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles.  Students can call the consulate directly at 213-617-6700.  The consulate has been helpful to students, but prefers to speak directly with the student in question rather than with a staff member or friend.

The center held a support group for our affected students today at the IEC-Counseling House.  We will hold another support group meeting next week on Thursday, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  One of our campus psychologists will join us at that meeting.  After that, we’ll schedule support group meetings as needed.  These meeting details have been shared with our students through their SMC e-mail accounts.

In addition, Associate Dean of International Education Denise Kinsella is working with Dean of Student Life Deyna Hearn to coordinate several student efforts to fundraise on campus.  A small group of student leaders are submitting a proposal to the Associated Students for this effort, and Denise and Deyna are connecting other organizations and individual students to this group.  Interested individuals may contact  Denise to be put in touch with the fundraiser point person.

I know that many of you are responding individually, or working with students, to raise money for the relief effort. We are all grateful for your efforts and those of our International Education Center.

As individuals, there are many ways to give money to help. Below are several websites and information for donating to various relief funds.

SMC's strong and long-standing ties to Japan are deeply valued here at the college. We will continue to keep you informed of what we are doing to help our students, our community and the people of Japan. Please feel free to contact Bruce Smith, public information officer, if you have further information on campus relief efforts.

Chui L. Tsang

President, Santa Monica College


UNICEF

International Medical Corps

American Red Cross

Or,

The Red Cross has already launched efforts in Japan. Visit Redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.

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