In times of great tragedy or crisis, it can be difficult to feel as though one can make a difference in the lives of those affected. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed over the past few weeks as images of the deadly tsunami that hit South and Southeast Asia on the 26th of December streamed in. We hope for the safe return to Chicago of any students affected by the tsunami in the past two weeks. Though University officials do not believe that any U of C students were killed in the tsunami, many were indeed affected. The Maroon sends its condolences to all of those who may have suffered personal loss of family during the tragedy. Further, in the face of such a natural disaster, we commend students and student groups at the U of C who have quickly planned and begun events that will raise badly needed money for relief efforts in the affected region.
While U of C students are generally known more for thinking than for action, student groups have organized in remarkable fashion to quickly raise money. Before most students had even gone to their first class, the Muslim Students Association had already set up a table with information about the aftermath of the tsunami and ways to donate. Other student groups such as the South Asian Student Association, Chinese Undergraduate Students Association, Jewish Action, and the Red Cross have planned additional events for upcoming weeks. These events will raise additional funds for the region and students should take time to attend them and to donate money.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that aid will be needed for a long time to come. To say nothing of the horrendous toll on human life, the tsunami has placed hundreds of thousands more at risk of disease, while dealing an economic setback to the affected countries that presents no immediate solution. The Maroon calls upon students to maintain their awareness and keep up their involvement in aiding those imperiled in Southeast Asia.