Cal Poly ignores plight of Haitian student

February 24, 2010

Cal Poly’s only Haitian-born undergraduate student may have to return to his native country without his civil engineering degree because he is unable to pay for Spring Quarter tuition.

Alcenat Honorat was sponsored into this country by a San Luis Obispo family four years ago. They took the young man into their home and paid his out-of-state tuition while he attended Cuesta College. The family continued covering Honorat’s college fees when he later transferred to Cal Poly, but the steep out-of-state tuition at Poly has left the family unable to support Honorat further.

Honorat hopes to graduate in 2011 and return to Haiti, which recently was the victim of a catastrophic earthquake. However, he must pay approximately $5,000 in out-of-state tuition by next week in order to register. Failure to register as a full-time student could place the Cal Poly student at the mercy of Homeland Security for possible deportation.

According to Honorat, Cal Poly officials as high as the President’s Office have said they are unable to help the student. Nor can students from Haiti qualify for traditional student loans.

Carolyn Jo of the San Luis Obispo chapter of the American Red Cross has been trying to help Honorat. “Alcenat is articulate, motivated, and intelligent,” Jo says. “He’s so close to finishing his studies and just wants to get back home with the right credentials to help his country rebuild.”

The Red Cross cannot divert money in this case, but Jo is setting up a special account for Honorat through Rabobank Thursday morning. People interested in donating to Alcenat Honrat’s college fund can visit any county Rabobank after noon on Thursday.


5 Comments

  1. hotdog says:

    Usually when someone says they ‘can’t help’ it means they ‘won’t help’. Looks like that was the case here and then that changed to ‘will help’. Too bad Baker didn’t come forward in the beginning but I’m glad he did in the end.
    And for those who think Al should pay up or get out- they might want to remember this is the land of opportunity, most of us are descendants of illegal immigrants of those who came here uninvited and killed the locals in order to steal the land and its resources.
    We are astoundingly lucky to have been born here, instead of in Haiti, Iraq or any of hundreds of other locations around the world with way fewer opportunities. Those who greedily hoard their ‘ownership’ of this land do a disservice to humanitarian principles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  2. Lukenelson says:

    Pay up or hit the road Jack.Enough Free Loaders here already.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  3. zaphod says:

    Maybe that bastion of work ethics and free markets,”The Cal Poly Foundation” could help this person finish the program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  4. Robert1 says:

    let this be his first lesson in economics and free enterprise,maybe he could do it the old fashion way,work for it! To many people in the world just think America rich and everything is free!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 25

    • CitizenR says:

      Sigh — the young man is here on an educational visa. If he takes a job (even part-time), he needs a work visa or he can be deported. It is my understanding that Homeland Insecurity is not handing out work visas to Hatians right now because there are 1) already a lot of them here 2) a lot more who want to come 3) problems with American citizens finding jobs (in case you haven’t noticed). So, if he does it the old fashioned way and works for it, he becomes an illegal alien!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

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