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Students weigh in on how to help Puerto Rico

On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico. The deadly storm caused major catastrophe to the island, and it is believed that Puerto Rico will not have electricity for over six months.

Junior mass media major, Cecil Merkerson, believes more media coverage will help Puerto Rico get the help they need.

“My opinion on Puerto Rico is that I feel like they aren’t getting the support in the media as much as Hurricane Harvey and Irma” Merkerson said. “I don’t really follow the relief efforts as much as I should, but from the statements of 45, I would say they should do more.”

The destruction in Puerto Rico is heartbreaking and deserves to get more media coverage rather than the celebrities who are donating money. More people need to hear of the destruction and see the coverage because people need to be involved. People need to hear the importance of this situation.

Being that Puerto Rico is United States territory, there is a lot of mixed opinions whether the government should help Puerto Rico or not. The popular opinion is the government should be providing aid to the island, and I agree. According to The Atlantic, U.S. government officials such as Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson and Adam Smith all believe the U.S. should be providing more aid to the island.

Senior mass media major, Lavel Marshall, kept his response on Puerto Rico short and sweet.

“I really don’t care about the government, but they should be sending more help,” Marshall said.

Some VSU organizations have collected supplies and goods to send off to Puerto Rico.

Freshman business management major, Dustin Wildes, is informed as to what the government has done to provide recovery and relief to Puerto Rico.

“The government has done quite a bit already,” Wildes said. “One billion dollars was approved in late September, FEMA took satellite phones to all of Puerto Rico’s towns, the Jones Act that was believed to be hindering relief efforts was waived for a year and FEMA is actively in there helping out relief efforts and aid distribution. It’s not going to be easy to restore Puerto Rico, and I personally believe that all of us as a people, not just the government, should do our part through donations or anything of that manner.”

The best we, as VSU students, can do is donate to causes that are helping provide aid and relief to Puerto Rico. Seventy percent of the island’s hospitals are not functioning and cell towers are down. These are horrible living standards for people.

If Puerto Rico’s situation is not taken seriously, then we will watch the island’s residents decline and the country itself will not be what it once was ever again.

Story by Kaitlyn Baich, staff writer. Photo by US Department of Defense.

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