Displaced LSUA Students Stay At Hotel Bentley

Apr 27, 2020, 17:16 PM
The Oaks residents are thankful for community hospitality.

Sometimes all it takes is a hot shower and a bed to turn things around. For LSUA students and faculty still on campus, they didn't know where to turn after Wednesday's severe weather. Thanks to community partners, students had a place to stay.

For the second time in four months, another round of severe storms left a path of devastation across Central Louisiana Wednesday night.

“We had people, we were putting them in the hallways, in the bathrooms, and that night, a lot of us slept in the hallway," said R.A., Junior LSUA student Kristen Lee."

For the students still on LSUA's campus, that meant no power and no water. University staff jumped into action Thursday morning and reached out to some friends at the historic Hotel Bentley.

“By noon we were here at the Bentley and they had lunch provided for us," said LSUA Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Engagement Abbey Bain. "They had our room keys and our rooms were ready."

A little under 30 rooms were reserved for the 31 students in need of a place to shower and rest their heads Thursday night. Students like Junior Kristen Lee were thrilled.

As soon as Lee got her room key, she had to share the good news.

“I called my mom on FaceTime so she could see where I got to stay tonight and she was so happy for me because the room was fantastic," said Lee. "They really did a great job with helping us right now.”

Local restaurants Poboy Express, Johnny's Pizza and Calvary Baptist Church donated breakfast, lunch and dinner just so students could feel comfortable.

“There was a moment last night where I was laying in this fantastic bed and I was like wow, these people and this community really does care about us," said Lee.

A night LSUA students and faculty say they'll never forget.

“We felt the community support immediately and it’s been amazing to be a part of that and I’m so appreciative for our students to be the recipients of that," said Bain.

Small acts of kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic that make a huge difference.

“They reached out the second we needed them to," said Lee.

Cleco spent Thursday restoring power to LSUA.

Students and faculty returned back to campus Friday afternoon.

Source: Kailey Mccarthy, KALB