College assists travel home; provides resources for those who stay
As Lafayette College was planning its transition to online instruction in mid-March, another small but mighty effort was occuring behind the scenes. Most students remained home following spring break; however, the approximately 200 who were still living on campus due to COVID-19 restrictions needed help getting home or accessing resources for their stay on campus.
“Lafayette was among many colleges to make the decision to keep select campus residences open for international students and others who could not return home as a result of COVID-19,” explains Annette Diorio, vice president for Campus Life. “Our students’ health and safety are a top priority. Supporting their physical and emotional health during a time when there is a national pandemic, which includes creating physical distance, strengthens the need for social connectivity and closeness. This is when Lafayette is at its strongest.”
Staff members jumped into high gear to coordinate support for students who remained on campus and helped others reunite with loved ones. Securing international travel became a race against time for several international students.
“We worked around the clock to help students navigate the travel challenges,” explains Rev. Alex Hendrickson, College chaplain. “One student in particular was able to secure one of the last flights back to his country of origin. Thanks to our long-standing relationship with Emanuel Travel in Easton we were able to help this student return home safely. The staff at Emanuel literally worked with me an entire weekend to get flights for numerous students to return to their home countries.”
But for some students who needed to return home and could not afford the last-minute plane fare, what might have seemed like an insurmountable challenge was possible thanks to the James F. and Donna L. Krivoski Student Assistance Fund, which is used to help students experiencing financial hardship. The Krivoski Fund provides single-occurrence emergency assistance for basic needs for students living on campus, serving as a lifeline for some who otherwise would not have been able to return to their families. Established in 2019 in honor of James and Donna Krivoski for their three decades of service to the College and Lafayette students, the permanent fund is part of the College’s endowment. According to Hendrickson, resources provided by the Krivoski Fund were critical during this time.
As the coronavirus risk evolves, the College community continues to provide necessary support for the 160 students still living on campus. The Pard Pantry, which is spearheaded by Student Government and championed by a representative on the Student Government Equity and Inclusion Committee, Flor de Maria Caceres Godoy ’22, is located in Farinon Student Center. With the lack of a full-service grocery store within walking distance during a time when social distancing is a priority, the pantry is essential and provides students with grocery store items they otherwise wouldn’t be able to obtain.
Members of the Lafayette and Easton communities continue to support the Pard Pantry through in-kind donations of food items and necessities. The pantry will remain open throughout the semester. In addition, an Amazon wish list has been created for those who wish to help on-campus students. To drop off items to the Pard Pantry or to coordinate additional donations, please contact Rev. Hendrickson via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, support for the Krivoski Student Assistance Fund can be made directly through the following link.