Despite Monday being a holiday, throngs of students criss-crossed the Sam Houston State campus throughout the day on Monday, strolling through the mall area, traipsing through the Lowman Student Center and congregating on the wall outside of Belvin Cafeteria.
Many took in the campus scenary as they strolled, some even stopping to take photos as though they’d never seen the fountain in the mall area before.
Most of them never had.
As Hurricane Gustav nailed the Louisiana coast late Monday afternoon, hundreds of student evacuees from Lamar University in Beaumont sought shelter on the Sam Houston State campus. After learning the ins and outs of providing shelter during Hurricane Rita, university officials were ready for the influx of student evacuees.
“Everything has been very good,” Recreational Sports Director Keith Jenkins said. “We’ve been receiving compliments from the students that say everyone has been friendly, the food is great and they’ve had a great stay here.”
A new wristband system was implemented this time around in order to keep track of all the students brought to Huntsville.
Scott Vaculik, who served as head of operations at the HKC, said the system simplified both the registration and organization of evacuees.
“The process is simple. If one needs a shelter, they come to Sam and sign in,” Vaculik said. “Upon registration, the evacuee recieves a pink colored band. It is with this band that the evacuee is iven all their privilages and freedoms.”
Organizers praised the new system for helping organize the students and keep everything running efficiently for both officials and the evacuees.
“It has been very organizaed,” Rhonda Curry of Rec. Sports said. “Last time there was no system, but this time everything has been good.”
According to Vaculik, evacuees were given all of the priviledges of a Sam Houston State student and then some, including free food in the Belvin Cafeteria and access to the Rec. Center pool.
“Hurricane Gustav is an unforunate event, but that does not mean the victims of his path are required to be t reated in an unfortunate way,” Vaculik said. “Thankfully, the students of Lamar have been treated kindly and fairly.”