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Aggies Welcome Storm Students

By: Jennifer Cavazos
By: Jennifer Cavazos

As Texas A&M University begins their new semester, they'll have a few more new students in class. That's because the university has extended an invitation to college students who attend schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina Gordon was going to attend her first year of college at Tulane. But with Tulane unable to offer classes in the wake of hurricane Katrina, her mom says she's registering at Texas A&M.

"Once we found out she wasn't going to have school this year, we didn't know what we were going to do. She really didn't want to go to LSU, so we went online Saturday, found information, one days notice and here we are," says mother, Mary Gordon.

"We understand these families and young people are coming here. Many times with just a suitcase or so of their belongings and that's it. No records, no ID card or anything like that trying to be as accommodating as we can," says Mark Weichold, Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Texas A&M.

About 150 students have enrolled at Texas A&M, mostly coming from Tulane and Loyola University. They will have the opportunity to take a full load of courses this year until summer 2006.

Amanda McCree is originally from Fort Worth and is a political science major at Tulane.

"I was really lucky. I never went to Louisiana. I was about to move in and a day before I moved in was when the hurricane hit. So I was at home watching the whole thing," says McCree.

But others were not so lucky. Houstonian, Jennifer Ihegword is at freshman at Tulane. She was attending orientation when she got word to evacuate New Orleans.

"They were telling us huge hurricane is gonna hit. You should probably leave. I had to take a bus back to Houston, which is where I'm originally from. Normally the trip takes about 7 hours, but it took us 12 hours to get back. It was really scary, a lot of people worried about their families, it was a crazy situation," says Jennifer.

"The Aggies are pulling together like they always do to help one another out in this time for our friends in Louisiana," says Weichold.

While their college future is uncertain, these students are concentrating on adjusting to a new environment and becoming temporary Aggies.


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