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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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University community responding to crisis in Japan

In response to the March 11 earthquake and catastrophic tsunami that have devastated Japan, members of the Princeton University community are asking how they can help.

A vigil for the campus community is being planned for 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, at the Fields Center; donations are being collected for the Japanese Red Cross at Frist Campus Center through Monday, April 4; the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs will hold a panel discussion March 24 titled "After the Earthquake: Japan's Nuclear Plant Crisis"; and the Global Crisis Response portion of the University's International Princeton website is consolidating news about additional events, fundraisers and other initiatives, which should be submitted to the office of the vice provost for international initiatives.

At the time of the earthquake, a total of 14 Princeton students, faculty and staff were in Japan, but decisions to leave the country had reduced that figure to eight by the end of last week, with two more scheduled to depart this week. The travel plans for those remaining continue to develop.

Upon learning of the disaster, University offices across campus began in the early morning hours of March 11 reaching out to the eight graduate students, two undergraduates, two researchers, one faculty member and one staff member in cities throughout Japan (Kyoto, Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Gifu).

As the situation in the country evolved, the University worked to ensure that all members of the campus community in Japan were safe and were able to leave the country, or had evacuation plans for safe relocation, including helping the undergraduates make travel arrangements to return to the United States. The University's vice provost for international initiatives, Office of International Programs and Office of the Vice President for Campus Life continue to be in communication with all of the students, faculty and staff remaining in the country.

For individuals on campus, the Global Crisis Response Web page has links to counseling and other resources, with students who would like to speak with counselors being encouraged to contact Counseling and Psychological Services. University Health Services is open 24 hours daily, and clinicians at Counseling and Psychological Services are available from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Appointments can be made in advance by calling (609) 258-3285. Pastoral counseling is also available through the Office of Religious Life.

The Office of Human Resources is communicating with employees about services and benefits available, including emergency confidential counseling. More information is available on the human resources website, by calling the office at (609) 258-3300 or e-mailing hr@princeton.edu.

For individuals who wish to offer financial support to aid the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, the Red Cross donations being collected on campus through April 4 are being collected from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on the first floor of Frist Campus Center, between the Witherspoon's cafe and East TV Lounge. Cash and checks --indicating "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief" in the memo line -- will be accepted.

In addition, the Global Crisis Response portion of the International Princeton website provides a link both to "Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Organizations and Resources" and also InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations focused on the world's poor and most vulnerable people. The InterAction website lists many agencies that are responding to the crisis and accepting donations.

For more information and further updates on initiatives and relief efforts, visit the Global Crisis Response section of the International Princeton website.

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