Indiana University students, faculty and staff respond to Nepal earthquake

Forum and candlelight vigil planned Thursday night at IU Bloomington

  • April 28, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A public forum in response to the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal last weekend will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.

The “IU4Nepal” forum will include talks by IU faculty and administrators and by Nepali students and faculty at IU. A candlelight vigil for those affected by the quake will follow at Showalter Fountain.

“All of us at IU Bloomington are deeply saddened by the earthquake in Nepal,” said Lauren Robel, provost and executive vice president. “Our campus community stands ready to aid the Nepali people as they undergo their cultural, economic and environmental recovery from this terrible disaster.”

"Our students were eager to help as soon as they heard about the devastating earthquake in Nepal,” said Melanie Castillo-Cullather, director of the Asian Culture Center, which took the lead in organizing the event. “We immediately received emails from students, faculty and community members offering to collaborate and help in organizing a response.

“IU has a history of responding quickly to tragedies such as the one that befell Nepal and its neighboring countries. Though Nepal is thousands of miles away from Bloomington, there is really no distance between countries and their peoples when it comes to expressing solidarity and support."

The 7.8-magnitude quake and resulting aftershocks and landslides caused widespread damage, death and injuries in Nepal, a mountainous country of 30 million people. The death toll stood at 4,682 as of today, with another 9,240 injured, according to Nepal’s interior ministry. The numbers were expected to rise with new information from far-flung communities that were isolated by the damage.

The IU forum will highlight relief efforts and provide political, cultural, historical and scientific background regarding Nepal and the earthquake, along with economic concerns. The vigil will include readings by writers who have been influenced by Nepal. Scheduled speakers and topics include:

  • Samrat Upadhyay, Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities and professor of English: "Nepal's Cultural and Political History"
  • Santosh Adhikari, Ph.D. student in economics: "Economic Impact of the Earthquake in Nepal
  • Michael Hamburger, professor of geological sciences: “The Nepal Earthquake: An Anticipated Disaster”

Opportunities to contribute to Nepal earthquake relief efforts, as well as information about effective and appropriate support, will be available at the forum. For more information and updates, visit the Asian Culture Center's website or the IU4Nepal Facebook page.

OpenStreetMap Edit-a-thon for Nepal

The Wells Library at IU Bloomington will host an OpenStreetMap edit-a-thon from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in an effort to support Nepal’s recovery from the earthquake. The event will take place at the Scholars’ Commons IQ Wall, Room 157-H.

The goal is to improve the base map of Nepal to make it possible to get help to those who need it. Participants will learn how to edit OpenStreetMap, a crowd-sourced mapping tool that enables individuals to contribute to ongoing humanitarian mapping projects around the world.

For more information, visit OpenStreetMap and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap. Contact Theresa Quill at with questions. Participants should bring laptops.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI faculty and staff are encouraging donations through the Nepalese Association of Indiana and other charities. Sudhir Shrestha, a native of Nepal and an assistant research professor in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, is leading the initiative.

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Club Kathmandu, a Nepali student organization at IPFW, is conducting a fundraiser through Thursday to collect money and supplies for victims of the earthquake. The organization will hold a vigil for victims of the quake at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Alumni Plaza.

Donations can be dropped off at the Club Kathmandu table in the IPFW Alumni Plaza or at the Office of International Education. Money raised will go to, an international NGO that already has teams on the ground in Nepal.

Related Links

Nepal earthquake map

Photo by U.S. Geological Survey

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

Steve Hinnefeld