By: Anthony Viola
Hurricane season produced two of the largest storms ever seen back to back. In Houston, the victims of Hurricane Harvey continue to repair their lives after the storm destroyed their homes. Irma caused similar issues for people in southern Florida. In a time when the country needs to come together, The Towers is doing their part. The residence hall is collecting food items, clothes, and toiletries throughout September for its monthly floor wars.
Meera Ramsoondar-Cuevas, the Assistant Director of Residence Life, learned about the damage from the hurricanes. The disaster they caused moved her to take action. When she watched the trauma these storms produced, she couldn’t stand by and not help.
“There was a need for something to be done,” says Ramsoondar-Cuevas. She suggested to her staff that they assist with the disasters in some way.
The idea combines both competition and philanthropy. “Floor wars” is a month-long program that promotes rivalry between each floor in the residence hall.
Shelly Zou, 5th floor resident assistance and CCNY sophomore, believes this kind of programming is inspiring. “Floor wars like this really help raise awareness and motivate people to bring about change through little acts of service,” says Zou.
The conclusions were worse than Sandy. Harvey and Irma uprooted people who lived in these cities their entire lives. Congress is currently working on passing funding to help relieve the damage, which recent data estimates the costs being $290 billion for both storms.
The team first thought of the idea after Hurricane Harvey took place at the end of August. Although the flyers only mention Harvey, items will be distributed for Irma victims as well. The resident assistants encourage their residents to take part, but many of the residents are expecting a prize to whoever wins. The Towers will host a pizza party for whichever floor donates the most items.
“A kind gesture can heal a wound that only compassion can heal,” says Davian Ellis, 8th floor resident assistant and CCNY graduate student. “It’s important for communities everywhere to provide what they can to hurricane victims. We’re just doing our part.”
The competition ends September 30. The Towers staff will be donating their items to National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. This group works with other credible organizations to ensure the goods are given to the victims. While the competition is limited to residents, any CCNY student can donate by dropping off items at The Towers’ front lobby.