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Ragin' Cajuns football fundraiser to aid Harvey’s student victims

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is doing its part to help students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Student-athletes and members of UL Lafayette’s Student Government Association will collect monetary donations as fans enter Cajun Field before Saturday’s home football opener. The Ragin’ Cajuns will face the Southeastern Lions; kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Donations will be accepted from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the stadium’s five entrance gates. Fans can look for volunteers holding covered collection containers.

The money first will be used to help UL Lafayette students affected by the storm. Any remaining funds will be given to the University of Louisiana System for distribution to storm-impacted colleges and universities in Texas.

The University has about 400 students from Texas alone, said Patricia F. Cottonham, vice president for Student Affairs. Her office is working to determine how many students from the Houston area, southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana were affected.

Efforts to help them will go beyond Saturday’s game, she said. Some student organizations have set meetings next week to plan how best to support storm victims.

UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie said the University is committed to assisting students who are grappling with Harvey’s aftermath.  “As we know all too well in Louisiana, recovering from a natural disaster is a long process. The University is going to do all it can to help its students rebuild their lives. They are part of the Ragin’ Cajun family.

“I encourage students, alumni and fans attending Saturday’s game to donate and do what Ragin’ Cajuns do best – help those in need.”

The UL System’s Student Advisory Council, a group of student government presidents from its nine member institutions, and the Sun Belt Conference also have organized fundraisers.

“A disaster of this scale can completely change the trajectory of a college student,” said Dr. Jim Henderson, system president and CEO. “I am proud of our students for taking the initiative to give back.”

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