NC schools assist with Shaw University cleanup

Volunteers assist with cleanup on Shaw University's campus

April 21, 2011 3:40:55 PM PDT
Students from six North Carolina universities put aside their rivalries to help Shaw University -- the South's oldest historically black college located in Raleigh.

A tornado blew the roof off of the student center and left two of the four dorms uninhabitable. The damage forced school officials to end the semester early.

"It blows my mind that there are this many students that are as like-minded as I am and come out and help Shaw," said Jennifer Prince, Meredith College student.

Prince is one of a handful of Meredith students that joined others from NC State, Carolina, Duke, Saint Augustine's and other HBCUs from the Piedmont Triad. The students picked up debris, bagged trash and did anything to help the Shaw Bear community put its campus back together.

"I think that a lot of the people that are out here today realize that it could have been just as easily their school," Meredith staff member Jane Mitchell said.

The cost of the damage is still unknown.

Alumni participating in the cleanup hope the community will respond the same way financially to keep students in class next semester.

"Knowing financially what that does to the university, when you don't have students so that federal money's not going to come in, so it's been - you know just devastating to see," Shaw alumnae Denise Daley said.

The university fed volunteers in the school gym and plan to wrap up for the day around 6 p.m. However, because of the outpouring of help from volunteers, they may remain on campus longer.

Shaw students have voiced concerned about their grades since the semester ended eight days early. University officials say professors will allow students to do extra work to improve grades if they are unhappy with their mid-term grades.

Graduation is scheduled for May 7.

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