Hurricane Relief: How UMass Can Help
Puerto Rico experienced a devastating hurricane in September, and now our support turns to the UMass campus and surrounding communities who are welcoming displaced families.
UMass Amherst has more than 100 students from Puerto Rico, as well as several faculty and staff members, who may be distressed by what is happening back home. We have several support services in place to assist them.
The Office of Student Life offers Single Stop Resources, a go-to guide for many of the services available to undergraduate and graduate students in need. Also included are several on-campus resources if you want to help others through volunteering.
The Dean of Students Office also has a staff of full-time case managers who work directly with students who are experiencing stress due to academic or personal issues. Case managers can explore a range of services and options for students experiencing distress.
Students who are experiencing economic insecurity or an unexpected financial emergency also have access to the Student Care Supply Closets on campus. Operated by Student Affairs and Campus Life, the closets contain free toiletries and household items.
Additional campus resources include:
- Off Campus Student Services
- Let’s Talk Drop In Sessions
- Therapist Assisted Online
- Center for Counseling and Psychological Health
- The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
After discussions with the deans and chancellor, the provost has announced a program to provide some support for visiting faculty from Puerto Rico, with a particular emphasis on individuals with pre-existing connections to the UMass Amherst campus.
These faculty will be appointed for the spring 2018 semester, under a waiver of search. The cost will be borne equally by the college/department and the provost’s office, though some financial assistance from Five Colleges Inc. may be possible. There needs to be a genuine instructional need and an identifiable teaching assignment. The host department should commit to providing logistical support to the visiting faculty member and their family, such as help with housing, transportation, and so on.
Proposals should go to the deans, who will evaluate them and pass along recommendations to the provost.
If you are a college student in Puerto Rico or know a student in Puerto Rico who wants to transfer to UMass to continue their education, we have a Domestic Exchange program with several universities in Puerto Rico. Using the Domestic Exchange is the most effective way to explore this option. For more information, contact Domestic Exchange Programs, Undergraduate Student Success at (413) 577-6767.
Faculty and staff who have been impacted by the hurricane should contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss resources and support available to them.
Rebuilding after disaster is a long and difficult process. We urge you to take care of yourself and those around you: