From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Kelvin Bass
(512) 463-0123
Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Senator West says cooperation key to aiding Katrina victims

DALLAS --- State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) applauds the joint work of business and media entities for their efforts to help students from New Orleans-based Dillard and Xavier Universities. With both campuses ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, AT&T, Reach Media and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) are collaborating on a webpage where students and parents can be located and may call to obtain information on the two historically Black institutions.

"Just the act of sending your child across the country to attend college is already a source of anxiety for most parents. Adding the news that your child is caught in the midst of a national disaster miles away from your care is almost unbearable," said Senator West. "These are times when we must combine our varied resources to assist those in less fortunate situations and that's what these groups have done. I join parents all across America in thanking them."

A phone bank was activated Friday, September 2, to help locate students. The number is 1-800-624-7189 and is operable from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. CDT. The call center is provided by AT&T with volunteers supplying staffing. Families and students will be able to log onto a Reach Media subsidiary, to access message boards. Those interested can get information on the status of Dillard and Xavier. Student information is being coordinated through UNCF.

These services are part of local efforts to accommodate an estimated 30,000 victims that will arrive in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that struck the Gulf Coast region earlier this week. Senator West has worked closely with businesses, the community, local, state and federal agencies in support of the relief effort.

For more information on hurricane relief efforts, contact Senator West's office at 214-467-0123 during business hours.