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Beaumont college students find refuge at Texas State during Hurricane Laura

Texas State University hosts dozens of Lamar University students as a Category 4 hurricane hits the Texas coast.

AUSTIN, Texas — Dozens of Lamar University students in Beaumont had nowhere to go during evacuations until Texas State University stepped up. They are hosting 57 students and seven staff members as they are under a mandatory evacuation from their campus due to Hurricane Laura. 

The Lamar University students arrived on the San Marcos campus Tuesday afternoon. Texas State said in an email that it's committed to helping the Lamar students and staff during this difficult time and will take precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 


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Texas State said this includes educating the evacuees regarding on-campus guidelines and enforcing the same health precautions during their stay as Texas State students. Lamar University staff said it's been almost 10 years since they've had to evacuate like this. 

"I couldn't go home because my family has the coronavirus. So I don't know where I'd be, honestly," said Jaimen Shepard, a Lamar University student who will be taking online classes on Texas State's campus. "We had to pack up really quick and leave the next morning. We took a chartered bus over here. It was a long trip. It took about nine hours while we were on the bus." 

Lamar University Vice President for Student Engagement Vicki McNeil said they'll stay put until it's safe to go back.

"We hope that is just for a couple of days. But we want to see if and when there's some damage to the university and what we can do," said McNeil.

In the email sent to students, Texas State said Lamar students will be assigned temporarily to available rooms in separate areas of San Gabrial and Gaillardia residence halls and will use Harris Dining Hall. The university said Lamar staff will be assigned to Bobcat Village and may also use space in Falls/Sayers and Blanco resident halls.

"I'm grateful for one, living, as well to stay here. They've been nothing but nice to us and open, lending us, and able to use their dorms, their dining hall," said Shepard.


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