Students Headed to Jazz City

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Roxanna Haynes
October 26, 2006

With a van packed full of supplies, students are planning to do their part in the rebuilding of a city known as the birthplace of jazz.

Ruth Davis, a student, said, "I think it's really important to preserve history because it just gives us such an insight into things we’re like and how we can correct our problems today."

They'll be helping to build mostly homeless musicians Habitat houses.

Deborah Davis, trip coordinator, said, "The people who made up the city vanished, and they're slowly coming back and they need a place to come back to."

To take this trip was an easy decision for these students.

James Taylor, a student, said, "I could stay in Valdosta and go to a party here or I could go to New Orleans and do something worthwhile."

As for those who've seen the damages, D. Davis said, "It looks like a bomb went off and there are no people there, you know. Just buildings that have no windows, no doors and vegetation growing up and mold. It's going to take decades and it's never going to come back."

But at least for this weekend these students are hoping to take away the blues for some New Orleans musicians.

Taylor said, "When the disaster originally happened I wasn't able to do anything to help out and this is my chance."

Valdosta State University is sponsoring this trip for these students, and for a few of them it'll be their first time in the jazz city. They say they're trilled to have this opportunity to experience New Orleans.

Deborah Davis, the trip coordinator, is also the archivist at VSU. She went right after Hurricane Katrina hit to New Orleans to volunteer at the libraries there and try to preserve the city's history.

It's a city rich with history and culture.

The students say want to experience the culture of the city. A lot has been restored since Katrina hit and they say they want to walk around downtown, maybe get to listen to some of the musicians in musician village that they'll be building houses for.