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By Sam Martin

RyeSAC, six student organizations and faculty have raised almost $13,000 in tsunami relief funds.

This exceeds the original goal of $10,000, which was set at last Friday’s fundraising meeting. Rebecca Rose, RyeSAC vice-president education, said Ryerson was anxious to get a large sum of money in by Jan. 11, because the Canadian government promised to match every dollar raised by that deadline.

RyeSAC also promised to match each dollar raised by students. Rose added that Ryerson will not end its fundraising efforts after the government’s deadline.

“There is still going to be a lot of need in these affected countries so we need to continue giving attention to the victims as opposed to a one-time fundraising and then forgetting about them,” she said.

The tsunami tragedy has taken over 160,000 lives in southeast Asia through 11 countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand. Disease due to the disaster is expected to claim many more lives in the near future.

Muhammad Ali, Muslim Student Association general secretary, is heading the MSA’s involvement in the effort.

“We’ve been working continuously with RyeSAC, with the Tamil groups, the Indonesian groups, together, as a community,” he said. He said he’s proud of how the school has come together for such a noble cause.

RyeSAC has decided to send the money through Oxfam-Canada, which allows money to be sent directly to affected areas-bypassing administrative fees billed by other organizations. Rose dropped the cheque off at the downtown office Tuesday evening.

Possible fundraisers include clothing drives, a movie night, games day, T-shirt sales and food sales. “The main thing that we just resolved was how we’re all going to be working together to collect funds,” Rose said after Friday’s meeting.

“We’ve now co-ordinated our fundraising efforts amongst all of the student groups and RyeSAC, and that’s the first step.”

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