Last Night, leaders of Student Government and members of the student body gathered in the student government office to brainstorm and discuss relief efforts for the surrounding community, following the devastating storm that hit North Carolina on Saturday. After hours of deliberation, the group was able to come up with United Universities: Supporting Our State as the name for the relief effort, as well as possible ideas which will be included in efforts to help local college, universities and residents that were affected by the tornado.

Parts of the Downtown Raleigh area suffered severe damage from the storm and many homes and businesses were destroyed. Shaw University was closed for the remainder of the spring semester on Sunday after several dormitories and the student center on campus was damaged in the hurricane. St. Augustine’s college suffered power outages on campus and cancelled classes on Monday while Progress Energy works to restore power to the institution. The school announced on it’s website that it plans to resume classes on Tuesday.

New Student Body President Chandler Thompson and the Director of the Center for Student Leadership Ethics, and Public Service, Michael Giancola addressed the situation at hand to members of the student body and allowed them to give their input and ideas that they wished to share. Several ideas that were brought to the table included an exam cram relief fund where leaders of different organizations will go out on campus and solicit donations. Other ideas included T-shirts and a possible concert in collaboration with Shaw University. The group set a goal to raise $10,000 during the end of the semester period alone, and plans to continue efforts into the next school term.

Student Government has also discussed the possibility with University Housing to provide temporary housing for Shaw University graduate students and graduating seniors who have been forced to leave campus following the closure of the university.

Student government also plans to launch of website for the United Universities Relief effort as well as a Facebook fan page to solicit support from the student body and the surrounding community. The group also plans to provide support to students, faculty, and staff who were directly affected by the storm that swept through various areas of North Carolina.