Iowa’s private colleges are responding to help students who’ve been forced out of class by Hurricane Katrina. Waldorf College President Dick Hanson says his campus in Forest City has room for about 60 students. He says after speaking with the faculty and staff, they’ll made a commitment to provide shelter and educational opportunities so the students can complete their fall semester. Hanson says the college is not offering to be a shelter or a social service agency — but it can offer education. He says, “If we can help one student salvage something out of this mess, we’ll be very, very happy. In fact, you know if nobody comes, it’s been a good thing. Because we have rallied, we have motivated, we have created in the minds of our young people on campus, this notion of responsibility and care and love, and these are good things. That’s what we wanted to do and it’s working.” The college has been contacting numerous state, federal and non-profit agencies to get the word out about their offer. He says it’s an opportunity, but they don’t know who is going to come and when they’re going to come. He says they’ve set up a screening process, but may have to go on faith for some students as they likely won’t have any records. The Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says other schools are also offering help. A spokesperson says St. Ambrose in Davenport already has one Tulane student from Bettendorf on campus and Luther college in Decorah has two students. Other schools offering classes are: Clarke College in Dubuque; Briar Cliff in Sioux City; Dordt in Sioux Center; Mercy, Grand View and Drake in Des Moines, and Cornell College in Mt. Vernon.
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