MRU helps flood victims
University provides resources to displaced Calgarians
The flooding that has taken place in Southern Alberta has caused a lot of tragedy, yet amidst the chaos, it has also provided a sense of pride in the community for the support that has been given to victims.
Mount Royal University is one of many places in the city that has reached out to help citizens who have suffered as a result of the flood. Thankfully, the university was able to stay dry in this difficult time, and was able to help people who weren’t so fortunate.
Beginning on June 20th, Mount Royal immediately began helping people who had been displaced. By advertising on the MRU twitter account, people were provided with the information that the residence buildings were being used as temporary housing for those who had been evacuated.
Putting both the student’s and staff’s safety first, classes from June 21-25 were cancelled because, although the campus itself was dry, the same could not be said for the roads, many of which were closed. The recreation centre and the associated programs were also halted for this reason. Exams that were scheduled during this time were postponed at the instructor’s discretion.
The Mount Royal library has offered help as well. Overdue fines that had increased over the closure were neglected, according to the Mount Royal library website.
On June 21, the following tweet was sent out, advising people on campus to put safety first: “We urge anyone at #MRU to head home. If you are unable to go home safely, please contact Security.” They also announced on June 22 that “#MRU is operating only essential emergency services. All other areas of campus are closed.” Emergency services constitute as “Services which directly support the City’s relief efforts.”
The Calgary City News Blog posted information for people who were hoping to volunteer on June 23. It advised readers that a transportation hub would collect volunteers from Mount Royal and distribute them to areas in need of cleaning up on June 30.
Volunteers were allowed to park in several of MRU’s parking lots, and would be provided with transportation to and from the communities in need. However, on June 29, the MRU Facebook page announced the same thing, but included the dates June 29 and July 1 as volunteer transportation dates as well.
The university opened up it’s services again on June 26. The following day, the Mount Royal University posted information for potential volunteers on their Facebook page. This included how to submit monetary or food donations, how to physically volunteer, and advice for people wanting to donate clothes. They cautioned people to check before making donations, as “Calgarians are being so generous that many organizations have been unable to use all of the materials being donated.”
Mount Royal has also been chosen as one of the registration sites for the Disaster Recovery program. The Calgary City New Blog announced on June 30 that the Roderick Mah Center for Continuous Learning would have financial assistance staff from July 2-7 for those who had been affected by the flood.
The MRU twitter account added that the parkade would offer free parking for people coming to register for this program. According to the government of Alberta webpage, this program is meant to “provide financial assistance for homeowners to repair or rebuild their primary residence and other uninsurable property damage and loss.”
Kyle Fortch, a Mount Royal student, found it helpful to receive information online.
“I was following the MRU twitter and Facebook page a lot during the week of the flood. They were really great with keeping everyone up to date on what was going on around the city,” he said.
“It was really great of them to offer the residence to families who were evacuated from their homes and giving the students some time to figure their home and personal stuff out before having to write their exams. They were really quick to answer anyone (including myself) with questions and sharing links to road closures and such on their twitter feed which was really helpful.”
The University has provided great information for the community through social media, ranging from information on class cancellations to volunteer opportunities! They also have provided shelter for victims of the flood and offered support for the community.