UTSA community members reach out to Japan earthquake, tsunami victims

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Earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan

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(March 14, 2011)--With news reports detailing the effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, efforts are continuing to rescue survivors and manage damaged nuclear reactors. As recovery efforts continue, UTSA is reaching out to students from Japan, students studying abroad and a number of faculty and staff members affected by the disaster.

More than 20 UTSA students are from Japan, as well as several faculty and staff members. Additionally, two UTSA Education Abroad students in southern Japan checked in with the Office of International Programs on Friday, March 11. The students reported they are "feeling safe," according to Holly Hill, UTSA director of education abroad services. Both students plan to continue their programs.

"We have the people of Japan in our hearts and minds in this time of tragedy and hardship," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "We have reached out to our students from Japan and are offering support from UTSA Counseling Services. We keep their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers, and we want to help ensure our students have the services they need."

UTSA Counseling Services is available to students who want to talk about feelings or concerns related to the events in Japan. Any UTSA student experiencing distress -- such as difficulty with eating, sleeping or the ability to concentrate on school, thoughts of worry and helplessness, or concern for the safety of family and loved ones -- should get in touch with a counselor. The services are free and confidential.

  • At the Main Campus, call 210-458-4140 or go to Recreation and Wellness Center Room 1.810.
  • At the Downtown Campus, call 210-458-2930 or go to Buena Vista Street Building Room 1.308.

"UTSA students from Japan who need travel advice, possible employment authorization, document replacement or possible visa extensions should call or arrange an appointment with an international student adviser," said Tanya Orndorff, UTSA director of international student services.

"On behalf of the East Asia Institute, I would like to offer my sincere concern and sympathy for those who are deeply affected in the earthquake and tsunami areas in Japan," said Mimi Yu, associate director of the UTSA East Asia Institute. "In addition to addressing the issues for the misplaced families and businesses, Japan will be on the long road to recovery in terms of rebuilding the Tohoku area."

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