Where would you go if your school was washed away by a hurricane? Fourteen students from Louisiana now attend Cal Poly after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their campus, and four seniors from the communication studies department at Cal Poly are helping to make their stay as pleasant as possible.

Cal Poly students Lauren Fleming, Alanna Brown, Melissa Porter and Kirsten Amarisca are hosting a 5k fun run in order to raise awareness and support for housing and financial aid for the 14 students from Louisiana. The project originally started for SCOM 322 (Rhetorical Criticism).

“The (assignment) said that we had to do a philanthropic act by either persuading people to sign a petition or do something towards the community,” Brown said. “So (with the 5k) we are using a persuasive tactic for the greater good.”

Brown expressed how they wanted to do a project that would make a difference to the lives of other.

“We were thinking of a local issue that we could deal with and discovered on the Cal Poly Web site different stories of people who were supposed to go to school in places of Louisiana that were affected by the hurricanes,” Brown said. “Some of them have families that are living in hotels, so we decided we wanted to help them.”

All proceeds will be given to the Cal Poly Foundation and given to the students. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, 62 people had signed up, and the women have confidence that the run will be a success.

“It started slow but we saw a lot of interest in the beginning and recently there has been a lot of people acting on it (their interest) and signing up,” Fleming said.

All participants will receive a T-shirt and chances to win gift certificates from local businesses in San Luis Obispo that sponsored the project. The event will take place on Saturday at See Canyon Fruit Ranch beginning at 9:30 a.m. Those interested in participating can sign up for $25 at the event or online at http://active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1265461.

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