Temple Weighs in on the Relief Effort in Puerto Rico

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A month and a half after hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, the damage is still being felt by native Puerto Ricans on Temple’s campus.

“I lived through hurricanes when I lived in Puerto Rico, and I was expecting it be like how it was in the past,” said Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs, Sandra Suarez. “I didn’t expect the devastation to be at the level it is now.”

While relief efforts have been in place for just over a month, Suarez has spoken to family back home on the island and noted that even the people who do have power, are only getting a 50% output.

Suarez knows of the struggles in metropolitan areas and can only speculate as to the hardships that still face more rural parts of the territory.

Hiram Aldarondo, Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and not only has family in Puerto Rico, but has been to the island since the storm.

“After I was able to contact my family, they were the ones that told me how things were going. One thing is to hear from them, but it’s another to see it for yourself,” said Aldarondo.

After returning home and assessing the damage and relief efforts, be it too late or too little, Aldarondo is adamant that he does not want the country to forget that there are Americans in Puerto Rico that should not be forgotten and still need help.

Temple Volleyball Digs in to Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Pink jerseys, out-flags and lines graced McGonigal Hall as the Owls took on the Cincinnati Bearcats.

While Temple took the match three sets to one, the real winner was breast cancer research.

The unfortunate truth is that breast cancer is one of those diseases that most are too familiar with, either having relatives affected or even having fought it off themselves.

Volleyball head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam enjoyed a three to one victory in the Dig Pink game, but was more focused on the cause for this month of awareness as well as year-round.

“So every year we have the goal; a certain goal and I believe the last couple years we were able to meet the goal. This is an awful disease and we’re just happy that we can be a small part in finding a cure for this,” said Ganesharatnam.

The team has a donation site for this month and while the effort is slow rolling, Ganesharatnam and his team are confident that their efforts among others locally and nationally will prove fruitful.

The Owls volleyball team has been dedicating games to Dig Pink for quite some time now but it’s Dr. Katheryn Evers, radiologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, who has seen events like this really get the point across.

“There’s been a 40% decrease in breast cancer mortality since the late 80’s,” said Evers. “That’s been due to a combination of better diagnosis, more people getting mammograms and better mammograms, and improvements in the treatments, mostly chemotherapy.”
Be sure to check out the Owls in action this Fall as well as see what you can do to bring awareness as well as contributions to those who could use support or even just a pink ribbon in your area.