On February 6, an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude occurred in the district of Maras in Turkey and neighboring Syria. The devastating event, as well as a second earthquake of 7.6 magnitude, affected cities in the region resulting in the collapse of thousands of buildings, roads and emergency services. More than 5,700 buildings in Turkey collapsed, according to the country’s national disaster agency. To date, more than 36,000 people have been killed in the disaster.
Though Turkey is more than 5,000 miles away, the effects were still felt by many on the Stony Brook campus, where 55 students have home addresses in the region. As rescuers raced against time and the elements to pull survivors out from under debris on both sides of the border, several departments worked collaboratively with student organizations to provide direct outreach to students who have family in the region and/or may be impacted in some way.
“There are some family and friends that we know who were directly affected and there are some that we still cannot reach,” said Alperen Gece ‘23, a business administration major from Ankara, Turkey, and secretary of Stony Brook’s Turkish American Student Association (TASA). “The best we can do from a distance is offer our heartfelt condolences and support by making donations to aid in the recovery of these families. To help, we collected money and basic necessities for them from campus and created awareness.”
The Turkish American Student Association and Middle Eastern Student Association fundraised and tabled in the Stony Brook Union Lobby to raise awareness and funds for the victims. The student groups have so far raised more than $5,000 through GoFundMe. The donations were given to The Foundation of Anatolian People and Peace Platform, a non-profit disaster outreach organization in Turkey.
Visit the TASA GoFundMe page to contribute.
“We are engaged in fundraising efforts with student leaders of various campus clubs and organizations and are fully prepared to provide support to those who may become distracted as a result of the recent devastation caused by the earthquake,” said Ric McClendon, assistant vice president and dean of students at Stony Brook University.
Both student groups are also partnering with Student Life in the Division of Student Affairs to share information on SBEngaged and will continue to work with the Department of Student Engagement & Activities on additional fundraising and outreach efforts.
— Robert Emproto
Other helpful links:
Embrace Relief, relief aid for Turkey:
Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.:
Stony Brook Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS):