UA SGA storm response limited

Jason Galloway

As the relief efforts flow into the damaged areas of Tuscaloosa, the University’s Student Government Association said its main role at this point is to communicate with students to keep them informed on everything surrounding the situation.

“Right now, we are doing what we can,” SGA President Grant Cochran said. “We are mainly utilizing social media to keep students informed about things like city ordinances, information about classes, that kind of information.”

Cochran said the SGA is working with six other universities to collect items for residents and victims of the tornado, and Communications Director Seth Morrow said the SGA has received contributions from many schools, including LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn Ole Miss and Penn State.

“We’re trying to help in terms of organization, but we don’t have any wide-spread effort right now,” Morrow said. “We’ve been helping students gather their stuff out of their dorms and trying to find a way to route traffic… away from the affected areas.”

The SGA is also encouraging students through social media to participate in blood drives and explaining the right ways to help in the city’s relief efforts. Morrow said SGA Chief of Staff Nicole Bohannon and Executive Secretary Kelsey Kurth spent Thursday in Birmingham gathering supplies for those in need.

“In a matter like this, a lot of managing the disaster falls to the city and University administration,” Cochran said. “I know a lot of students, including many in the SGA, are going home at least for a few weeks. Whoever is left will be utilized.”

Although the SGA may be a bit limited in what it can do at this point, Morrow said the organization will continue to look for the best ways to help.

“There’s obviously going to be a large role for SGA to play in this going forward in terms of outreach,” he said. “Right now, it’s too quick to really see exactly the biggest need for the student governing body, where we most need to help out. We’re waiting to hear from the administration on that.”

“There’s a lot to do,” Cochran said.  “But I’m sure we will pull through.”