College of Staten Island President Dr. Marlene Springer today announced that CSI will admit immediately any students who had planned to attend colleges now closed due to Hurricane Katrina.

“One of CSI’s greatest strengths is its total commitment to students,” Dr. Springer said, “Today, that commitment goes beyond our campus to students directly affected by Katrina. Certainly, everyone’s attention is focused on the life and death issues surrounding the tens of thousands of refugees from this devastating storm. But in the midst of this catastrophe it’s easy to forget about students attending storm-ravaged colleges along the Gulf coast. Those students might not have lost loved ones or their homes but they have lost their schools. CSI is reaching out to those students, to the Katrina students, and offering them an academic home.”

The president noted that the academic logistics might be initially difficult.

“There’s no communication coming out of these schools,” Dr. Springer said, “and that’s not likely to change for some time. There are also issues of registration here at the College. But these are all manageable, indeed, of only minor significance compared to the moral imperative to lend a hand. We have the opportunity to do more than express our sympathy. We can take action. CSI is a senior college in the CUNY system with a wide array of courses and majors. We can enroll affected students and work with them to resume their education during this very difficult time.”

Students affected by Katrina have already contacted CSI and expressed interest in enrolling. Daniel Lederman from New Springville is a senior at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he is majoring in business.

“The CSI faculty and staff that I have spoken with have been very helpful and welcoming,” he said. “I appreciate the moves taken by CSI and other institutions across the country. I am considering all of my options, and I am waiting for more news and comments from Tulane University before making a decision. My thoughts and concerns are with the people of New Orleans.”

In addition, CSI is planning a fundraising campaign on campus to aid communities is storm-damaged areas.