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SRJC reopens Monday, offers help for students, faculty impacted by fire

Santa Rosa Junior College will reopen on Monday, Oct. 23, following the recent devastating fires. To date, more than 400 students and more than 50 employees have lost their homes, while hundreds have had to evacuate.

Of 10,000 students who responded to a survey sent out on Monday, 78 percent stated that they are ready to come back to school on Monday. SRJC has more than 27,000 students enrolled in fall semester classes.

Starting Monday, all classes and activities will be resumed at campuses in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, and sites in Southwest Santa Rosa, Shone Farm in Forestville and Public Safety Training Center in Windsor. Also resuming are online classes, Community Education, Older Adults and Adult Education classes.

Through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Student Resource Centers on both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses are open to provide extensive support services to students affected by the fires. The Human Resource department is providing similar support services to faculty and staff who have been affected by the fires.

On Thursday, there will be an internal SRJC event that brings SRJC students, faculty, staff and their families together at the Santa Rosa campus to heal, provide information on campus services and distribute free basic need supplies, wellness resources, and a pasta dinner.

The SRJC Fire Relief Fund has been established to support the urgent needs of current students and employees who’ve lost their homes, and the SRJC Foundation has made an initial gift of $100,000. Applications for grants are available to students at https://studentlife.santarosa.edu/form/fire-relief-fund-student-application and for faculty and staff at https://hr.santarosa.edu/form/fire-relief-fund-employee-application. The college is seeking further donations to the SRJC Fire Relief Fund, which can be made online at https://firerelief.santarosa.edu.

“In the last week I’ve been so inspired and touched by everyone’s efforts to make the best of a very difficult situation,” said Dr. Frank Chong, SRJC Superintendent and President. “We are working closely with agencies throughout the cities and county, who’ve been incredible partners. I also would like to thank California Community College Chancellor Eloy Oakley for his unwavering support during this difficult time, and our many donors, some of whom have lost their homes. Despite so many tragic losses, we will always be SRJCstrong, SRJCfuerte,” he said, citing the new hashtags #SRJCstrong and #SRJCfuerte.

Parking at all SRJC campuses and sites will be free from now through Oct. 28.

Many employees have already returned to work, providing support for students and employees, checking air quality in buildings, cleaning up grounds, preparing payroll, and hundreds of other jobs required by one of California’s largest community colleges.

SRJC’s Culinary Arts Program will host “Sonoma Family Meal,” a community-based program supplying fresh, healthy “to-go” meals to anyone in need.

Those who lost their homes, are still evacuated, are hosting a group of evacuees, or are just tired and need help with lunch or dinner for themselves and their families, all are invited to pick up a wholesome meal to go, no questions asked. SRJC students are especially encouraged.

“Sonoma Family Meal” features food donated by local farms, ranches and restaurants, prepared with love by some of the best chefs in the Bay Area and Sonoma County. Sonoma Family Meal was previously hosted by Franchettis’ restaurant and Worth Our Weight, and is now moving to Santa Rosa Junior College.

The location is Santa Rosa Junior College parking lot, 1700 Mendocino Ave. across from the B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center. There is extensive information at www.santarosa.edu describing ways the College is helping students, faculty and staff affected by the fires.

SRJC students who have been heavily impacted by the fires should contact studentaffairs@santarosa.edu or call 527-4424 for help. Faculty and staff who have been heavily impacted by the fires should contact Human Resources at smuskar@santarosa.edu, shopkins@santarosa.edu, 524-1624 or 524-4831.