Update on resources available to students impacted by apartment fire

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is continuing to work to provide aid and support to students displaced by a three-alarm fire on Wednesday, April 20, at an off-campus apartment building. The fire, which occurred at The Park along Blue Course Drive in Ferguson Township, displaced 48 Penn State students and many other non-student residents.

Penn State has been working to help house and assist students who need help with shelter, clothing, classes and other essential issues before the end of the spring semester. Today (April 22) the University announced additional services, resources and support for those students from the Office of Student and Family Services and other University offices.

Housing
Impacted students will be offered on-campus housing for the remainder of the semester. The University will provide housing at no cost from today through final exams. Students will be housed in Eastview Terrace and will not be required to purchase a meal plan, but may, if they choose to do so. Anyone who would like to secure a room may do so starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 25, by calling 814-863-1710. Students facing a housing-related emergency this weekend should call the Residence Life central on-call duty line at 814-777-4711.  

Missing class
Penn State has policies in place to assist students who may need to leave campus after experiencing tragedies. In these circumstances, the staff in the office of the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Student and Family Services can help. While students are encouraged to speak with their course instructors, students unable to do so or in need of advocacy should contact Barbara Duncan, administrative assistant to the assistant vice president for Student Affairs, at 814-863-4926 or bld11@psu.edu.

Replacement of damaged or destroyed textbooks 
Impacted students will receive a note from Steve Falke, regional director of the Penn State Bookstores, who has made arrangements to provide support to students whose textbooks have been damaged or destroyed. Impacted students should visit the Penn State Bookstore in the HUB-Robeson Center and speak with the team in the textbook department for more information.

Student Emergency Fund
When a student is experiencing a specific financial need because of an emergency or crisis, emergency funding can provide timely support when critically needed to assist the student. Recognizing that unforeseen financial emergencies will occur for students, Penn State, in collaboration with Barnes and Noble, has established a Student Emergency Funds Program to help meet the immediate needs of students experiencing crisis situations. Grants from the Student Emergency Fund may be made in the form of Lion Cash, which can be used for food, clothing or other necessary expenditures. Contact the office of the assistant vice president for Student Affairs at 814-863-4926 for additional information.

Office of Student Aid Crisis Fund
The Office of Student Aid also has emergency funds available for those students who have been directly impacted by the fire. Assistance will be provided on a case-by-case basis. Contact Eric Doberstein, financial aid coordinator, at 814-865-6301 or esd109@psu.edu for more information.

Gift cards 
A number of local community churches have donated gift cards for Target and Giant for students impacted by the fire. Each gift card is in the amount of $10, and Penn State has received two gift cards for each student directly impacted by the fire. Impacted students may pick up the gift cards in the office of the assistant vice president for Student Affairs, located in 120 Boucke Building. The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lion's Pantry
The Lion's Pantry provides food to Penn State students in need through donations from community members and corporate partners. The pantry is located right next to the Blue Band Building near the Katz Law Building. The pantry is open from 3 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact the Lion's Pantry at lionspantrypsu@gmail.com for more information.

Counseling 
The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office has reserved a number of walk-in appointments for victims of the fire. Students who would like to speak with a CAPS counselor should contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 814-863-0395.

Assistance for student veterans  
Student veterans may be able to receive additional assistance from the Veteran Multi-Service Center. Impacted student veterans should contact Tom Peters at Tom.Peters@VMCenter.org for more information.

Last Updated April 19, 2017