By Katie Weitkamp/Around&About editor

Keene Hall has seen a slight decline in residents throughout this semester. Between seven and 10 residents, including a resident assistant, were called up for active duty to help with war efforts. Those students were the inspiration for “Operation: Support Keene Troops,” which will target students on active duty who used to live in Keene Hall.

To help make their time away from Eastern a little more bearable, the RAs and residence hall coordinators are putting together packages for students who were called up.

At 9 p.m. Tuesday in the second floor Conference Room, those who knew the students now on active duty and those who didn’t know them will be putting together care packages.

Some of the items they will be sending include baby wipes, birthday cards and Mother’s Day cards for the soldiers to send home as well as other necessities.

“They’re trying to be really creative with what they’re sending,” said Matt Horn, RHC for Keene Hall. “We’re also talking to people who know them to get their likes and dislikes so we can send a package for them.”

Horn and the RAs in Keene Hall have had to check out several students, which he said is never an easy thing to do.

“The good thing is that they’ve all seen the need to go. You can see some intimidation or trepidation in their eyes, but not fear,” Horn said.

Residents of Keene Hall have expressed support for the troops, especially their friends and neighbors who were forced to leave.

“They come up with some really good, creative suggestions, but we have to be careful about what to send them,” Horn said.

Recently, sending mail addressed to “Any Soldier” has been forbidden due to security reasons. This means the Keene Hall residents will only be able to send packages to the people they know personally.

Keeping in mind the size limit, Keene RAs are trying to come up with a good list of personal items to send the service men and women.

“They have everything they need, but they really don’t have those personal items,” Horn said. He hopes the packages they send will lift spirits and make everyday life a little easier for the soldiers.

Also, Horn said Walters Hall and McGreggor Hall are talking about sending care packages to troops. He also said other buildings on campus are thinking of new ways to support the efforts here on the homefront.

“It’s a way you can support them (the troops) without supporting the cause,” Horn said.

If you would like to help make care packages, stop by the second floor Conference Room in Keene Hall Tuesday. If you are unable to attend, but have items you would like to send, drop them off in Keene Hall, Room 1405.