(Originally published 2014 in Humboldt State University’s newspaper The Lumberjack).
It was Thursday night when Humboldt State University students found out about the bus crash.
That same night, HSU students said they should do something and decided to take up donations to help the families of those affected.
Juan Samaniego is a current member of Lambda Theta Phi — the same fraternity that Arthur Arzola, one of the victims of the crash, was a part of.
“At that moment when we found out, we didn’t know if the school was going to do anything,” Samaniego said. “But we knew we wanted to help out.”
Lambda Theta Phi teamed up with a few other clubs on campus and came to the conclusion they would table during Spring Preview.
F.R.E.E., M.E.C.H.A., Hermana’s Ideas, Lambda Theta Alpha and Lambda Theta Phi all decided to have jars on their tables to take donations for the families of the victims.
The groups knew that many of these students came from the Los Angeles Area and their goal was to help the families that might not have insurance with funeral cost.
“When things like this happens it seems unreal until its someone that’s close to you,” Samaniego said. “This incident felt more real because a lot of our members, as well as other students at HSU have been through this same Spring Preview program.”
Legacy is also a club on campus that has joined in on the effort of helping the families of the victims. They hosted an annual auction on Saturday and the proceeds will be given to the families of the victims. The event raised $391.
The president of Legacy, Shemicka Bluitt detailed why they wanted to help.
“Most of the girls in Legacy are also EOP students and that’s how most of us met,” Bluitt said. “Also, Michael Myvett was close to some of the sisters. This is why we felt it was important to help the best way we could.”
Ramia Charles is a senior studying communication at HSU and a member of Legacy who knew Myvett during his time at HSU.
“This auction is something we do every year and we were going to use the money for our upcoming formal,” Charles said. “When we found out most of the families of the victims don’t have insurance, we donated our proceeds to helping them.”
The compassion of these clubs represent what makes HSU special. Even in a terrible event like this, there are also people looking to help.
“We wanted to show that Legacy and Humboldt State as a whole are a community,” Charles said. “Once a Jack always a Jack. Whether you graduated or not, even if you only visited Humboldt, we wanted to help in any way.”
In honor of the victims there will be a moment of silence at 12:30 p.m. in the UC Quad on April 17th, and a candlelight vigil at 5 p.m.