Disasters have a tendency to do one of two things to people: either bring out the worst in them or bring out the best in them.

Fortunately, as the news coverage of the Cajun Navy and relief efforts has shown, Harvey did the latter. While a hurricane is never a good thing, it has the potential to bring people together and that’s important.

In the aftermath of an event like Harvey, people are more reliant on each other than ever — for rescue, for food, shelter, clothing, and so on. As some of the more tragic images in the media have made all too clear, many people have lost everything, putting them in dire need of help from their communities.

Kudos to people like the volunteers, first responders and relief workers who have done so much to assist those in need.

The effects of Harvey encompass Lamar as well, and not just with regard to changes in the academic calendar. Large areas of Southeast Texas experienced catastrophic flooding, and as a result, many members of the Lamar community, both students and faculty, have suffered tremendous loss.

It is important to remember that fact this semester, because ultimately it’s impossible to know what everyone’s situation is.

Asking people how they’re doing is much better than assuming that a person has been through something good or bad.

For those of us who came through the storm with little or no damage, we should be thankful. For those who were not so fortunate, even small gestures can make a big difference.

Ask classmates if they need school supplies or offer to loan them a textbook so they can do their homework.

It’s always difficult getting back to normal after a catastrophe, but helping each other can make the process that much easier. It’s why we as a campus need to come together to overcome Harvey.

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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