The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Some students stayed after Katrina

Last year, Marquette took in 69 undergraduates and one graduate student from four different universities — University of New Orleans, Xavier University, Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans — after Hurricane Katrina. Students either found Marquette through the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Web site or approached Marquette directly regarding a specific program.

"A list of schools with space available went up on the AJCU site almost immediately," said Anne Deahl, associate provost for enrollment management at Marquette.

Several of the displaced students were also from the Milwaukee area originally, so they knew of Marquette.

"We responded very quickly and in a way that greatly reflected Marquette — with great thought and care," said Stephanie Quade, associate dean of student development.

The Office of Student Development was involved in organizing a separate orientation for the students, setting up an emergency need fund for when they needed cash and organizing tuition payments. Tuition payment was difficult because many students already paid at their respective schools.

"It was very complicated and worked out on a case-by-case basis," Quade said.

Despite the complex process, Deahl said the university wanted to make sure displaced students felt at home.

Of the 70 students who came on a temporary basis, 10 decided to transfer to Marquette permanently.

Ayesha Balton, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, came to Marquette from Xavier University.

"I'm originally from Milwaukee, so it was convenient, but Marquette is also a sister school to Xavier — they're both Jesuit schools, so it was pretty consistent to what I was used to," Balton said. "But I also didn't really have a choice, because our apartment was lost to mold and mildew, and my family wanted me to stay close to home."

Balton had to deal with the changes between Xavier and Marquette, such as different class sizes and climates, but she said she enjoyed her experience last year.

"Everyone was very accommodating — faculty, students. I certainly have no complaints," she said. "I'm happy I'll be getting my diploma from Marquette."

A tie to Milwaukee like Balton's was not the only reason some displaced students decided to stay at Marquette.

According to Deahl, for those who were freshmen, their first semester at Marquette was their first college experience, and they didn't want to have to start all over again.

"I think many of the students just really grew to like Marquette," Deahl said.

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