President Machen releases statement regarding Haiti

Published: January 13 2010

Category:Haiti Earthquake, InsideUF, Top Stories

Dear students, faculty and staff:

As Haiti continues to struggle with the horrific effects of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday afternoon, I know many of you in the University of Florida community are eager to help.

The University of Florida has numerous connections with Haiti – not just scholarly ones, but also personal connections between UF students, faculty and staff and their family and friends there. We offer our greatest sympathies and hopes to all.

Student groups are meeting this afternoon to discuss how best to advise the UF community to provide assistance to the Haiti earthquake victims. Please check this site for updates.

We have received confirmation that two UF/IFAS faculty members in Haiti are safe and accounted for: Florence Sergile, an assistant instructor in IFAS International Programs; and Ed Hanlon, an agronomist from the Immokalee station. However, we continue to await word on the status of two UF journalism graduate students who are in Haiti: Jon Bougher and Roman Safiullin.

Meanwhile, faculty and staff in UF’s College of Public Health and Health Professions, College of Medicine and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are organizing a relief mission to the Haitian community of Christianville and its schools and clinic.

We realize this is a difficult time for many in the UF community. If you are a student in need of counseling or emotional support, please contact the Counseling and Wellness Center at 352-392-1575 or Student Health Services at 392-1171. Counseling services are located in Peabody Hall, room 301 and are available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Additional information regarding counseling services is available at

Also, a candlelight vigil scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday will now recognize the concerns of those suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake. The vigil will be held at the Reitz Union amphitheater.

We will update you as soon as we have further information on Jon Bougher and Roman Safiullin and any other UF employees or students in Haiti we become aware of. For now, please consider helping the survivors in Haiti through channels at UF or elsewhere. We keep everyone there in our thoughts and prayers.

Bernie Machen

Category:Haiti Earthquake, InsideUF, Top Stories