HURRICANE IDA: Tech takes in Nicholls State students

Tech President Les Guice helps feed one of the Nicholls State students, who evacuated to Ruston over the weekend.

Louisiana Tech welcomed 40 students from Nicholls State University this weekend as they sought to escape from Hurricane Ida.

The students arrived at Tech Saturday night and are currently being housed at Lambright Sports and Wellness Center with their two police officers and two staff members from Nicholls’ Residential Life.

“Providing support for Nicholls State students is a part of our culture and an expression of Louisiana Tech’s values,” Tech President Les Guice said. “These are the kinds of things we do as a system to support each other, and Nicholls State was helpful to us when we suffered from the tornado.”

Tech suffered greatly in spring 2019 when an EF-3 tornado ripped through the parish, destroying baseball, softball, soccer and tennis courts on the campus.

The Nicholls’ State students’ story is not the only time Tech has taken in students after a hurricane. Sixteen years ago, Tech took in students from Tulane University following Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane.

Ida made landfall Sunday morning as a Category 4.

“I want to thank President Les Guice, Louisiana Tech and the Ruston community for welcoming our students with open arms,” Nicholls President Jay Clune. “It is because of them that we can feel comfortable that so many students are out of harm’s way.”

Clune said he was saddened that his students’ experience is being disrupted in so many ways.

“So many families have already been adversely affected by the pandemic, and this storm will only pile on the stressors that they are facing,” Clune said. “But our student body is a resilient community. They care for one another. They will weather this storm and come out stronger than before. And we will do everything we can to support them.”

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, which includes both Tech and Nicholls State, said this was an example of the collaboration that is evident in the ULS.

“Louisiana Tech opening its arms to the students of Nicholls State is the embodiment of our notion of system,” Henderson said. “The collaborative leadership of President Guice and President Clune is focused where it should be: on students.”

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