Thursday, December 17, 2015

UIS students gathering clothes for Syrian refugees

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield are pitching in to help refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

The Muslim Student Organization, the International Student Association and other campus groups have organized a clothing drive to help Syrian people who have been displaced by the ongoing hostilities.

Asad Sohail, a graduate student who is president of the Muslim Student Organization, said he's been amazed at the school's response to the clothing drive. They've already filled 20 to 25 large garbage bags with donated clothes, he said.

"(The refugees) are stuck in the middle," Sohail said. "People think they are migrating because they are cowards. They really don't understand what the situation is."

The clothing drive was Sohail's idea. It got started after he talked to Maricela Arce, a graduate student who is president of the International Student Association.

Arce, who's also the Resident Housing Association's sustainability director, said that at the end of the spring semester, they have a program that collects items students no longer want when they move out of the residence halls. Those items are distributed to charities.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 17, 2015.

Read the story online.