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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola Responds directs Loyola’s response to crises


The fall semester at Loyola University Maryland has been filled with new classes, new friends, new memories and new beginnings. But as we turn on our televisions, we see tragedy unfolding beyond our quiet college lives. Headlines and photos show pure devastation and innocent lives being torn apart. People across the country and our world are struggling to pick up the pieces from these crippling disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires, and the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Although the catastrophes may occur many miles away from Baltimore, some members of the Loyola community may be personally affected by these events. In order to help the community cope, Loyola Responds was formed.

Loyola Responds is an outlet to express Loyola’s support, prayers, and thoughts and guides the University’s response to humanitarian crises and natural disasters. The creation of Loyola Responds was sparked by the tragedies of the fall semester so far, and the need for our faculty, students and staff to know about the resources available to them.

The main goals of Loyola Responds are to give information and awareness about disasters to our campus community, provide opportunities for charitable giving, and to spread formal information about events and resources on campus that occur in response to these tragedies.

Loyola Responds is coordinated by Director of Campus Ministry Seán Bray and Dean of Students Christina Spearman.

Although the organization was created this semester, it has already made an impact on the community.

“For Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, we reached out to students with permanent addresses in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and throughout the Caribbean,” Spearman said. “Additionally, we utilize various academic and student development networks on campus to try and identify students who may be affected and connect them to resources.”

The work of Loyola Responds extends past natural disaster aid and support, however.

“In addition to the work of Loyola Responds, a number of community members stepped in to support those who may be affected by the many events at the start of this year. This includes prayers at Masses, offerings at Masses, a moment of silence organized by Mosaic, a prayer vigil by Campus Ministry, fundraising efforts by various student groups, and support from faculty and administrators,” Spearman said.

Students are welcome to contact Bray or Spearman to share information about natural disasters or humanitarian issues they are aware of, and they can share ideas about possible responses. They are also welcome to share information about any students who may be affected, so Loyola Responds can help coordinate individual follow up and support. Students can share information by emailing [email protected].

Spearman encourages students to reach out to Loyola Responds because she believes that the group embodies one of our most cherished Jesuit ideals: serving others.

“Our Jesuit mission inspires us to look beyond ourselves and consider ourselves citizens of a global community,” Spearman said. “Creating Loyola Responds offers a way for us to give voice to concerns on a community-wide level and to share ways in which we might be part of recovery efforts.”

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Loyola Responds directs Loyola’s response to crises