UC students head to Texas for Harvey relief effort


Kelsey Carlo, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, 28 students and two construction management professors will travel 1,800 miles to Santa Fe, Texas to assist in cleanup from Hurricane Harvey. While there, they will be removing mud and debris from homes, tarping roofs and any other jobs that may need to be done, while also working with the non-profit organization, Samaritan’s Purse.

Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization that is run by Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Bill Graham, that aims to provide spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

The group will travel on a coach bus on Oct. 3 departing around 3 p.m. They will arrive in Houston on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and be working Thursday, Friday and Saturday before departing on Sunday.

David Dubbelde, director of the construction management program, discussed that although this trip isn’t going to be a vacation, he is very happy and proud of everyone going.

“This goes beyond a thank you,” Dubbelde said. “It says a lot about each person for taking their time to go down there and help these people. I really appreciate everyone going. This is going to emotionally impact the people down there that we are helping, and that in itself says a lot.”

Out of the 28 students going, 21 of them are construction management students, and seven of them are a part of the college’s Inter-Greek Council. There are four Greek organizations in IGC who are represented in this trip which include Theta Phi Alpha, Kappa Delta Phi, Alpha Phi Delta and Phi Beta Sigma.

Fran Lucia, coordinator of student activities for events and services and IGC advisor, expresses that the Utica College Greek community is just doing what they do best.

“So often they get a bad reputation, but from my perspective, I am not surprised that these students are going,” Lucia said. “They are always there in times of need. I’m proud that they are supporting their organizational missions as well as the mission of IGC.”

The Greek community at UC has done and continues to do community service as well as philanthropy for many different organizations. This year, they are helping with Hurricane Harvey by giving the construction management program $300 and will also be doing a backpack project. The backpack project will consist of giving 20 to 25 young students in the area a backpack filled with school supplies.

Jordan Leogrande, a junior and construction management major, discusses why he decided to go on this 27-hour-long bus ride to help these people in need.

“I asked myself how I would feel if 50 inches of standing water ended up in my home, destroying almost everything I have ever come to love and know,”  Leogrande said. “Hope is being able to see a shred of light when your world has gone completely black, and hope is the only thing these people are holding on to. By going to Texas, we hope to make that light a little brighter. Our only intention is to positively impact the lives of the people we are traveling 1,800 miles to help, and provide them with the hope that someday their lives can return to the way they were.”