Northeast schools take steps to protect students and faculty from Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy rolls in from the sea, universities and colleges in New York and other northeastern states cancel class and work to prepare their communities for the superstorm.

Hurricane Sandy's rapid approach has universities and colleges all over the Northeast scrambling to keep their students and faculty members safe. In New York state, colleges are taking various steps toward protecting their communities.

At Fordham University in the Bronx, classes are canceled through Tuesday, and on Monday afternoon students received an email saying that the health center and gym would be closed. The dining halls will have limited hours and the university's field house will become the evacuation center if power is lost or the dorms get too dangerous.

Photo: D.J. Donahue
URI sophomore D.J. Donahue tests the force of the winds in Narragansett, RI.

Leighton Schneider, a Fordham University freshman from Connecticut, said the university is handling the situation well and even sent out an email on Friday that classes might be canceled. The storm, however, is not affecting him negatively. "This is becoming a normal occurrence here so I am used to it. We had Irene last year, and the nor'easter on Halloween where we lost power for a week each," Schneider said. "So this storm isn't really fazing me."

In New York City, the City University of New York has organized ten shelters. Classes at NYU, Manhattan College and the Fashion Institute of Technology have been canceled until Wednesday.

Students at other New York schools, however, are expected to attend a full week of classes this week. The University of Buffalo campus is in full swing, classes are being held as scheduled, and the university is expected to remain open, according to Carly Wershoven, a sophomore at the university. "The storm coming through Buffalo hasn't really hit us yet," said Wershoven, who expects the weather to worsen, though trees have already started falling in the area. "It's tragic what's happening to the Northeast."

Next door to New York, the University of Connecticut cancelled classes through Tuesday in all of its main and regional campuses and its Law campus. Andrew Colabella, a senior at UConn Stamford who is working for storm response for Kerrigan Industries, said an effort to keep water on the beach with a 20-foot wall of sand failed when waves washed it away.

Chelsea Shagi, a sophomore at UConn Storrs, said she expects the campus to lose power tomorrow, but the university is very diligent about restoring power when it is lost. In the meantime, she doesn't mind relaxing. "It sucks I can't leave my apartment to see other friends," Shagi said, "but I don't mind being lazy and having a four-day weekend."

Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island evacuated its Harborview residence building, which faces Narragansett Bay, Monday evening. The university is providing safety and security transportation upon request and is canceling classes day by day based on weather conditions, said freshman John Lewis.

The University of Rhode Island has also canceled classes through Tuesday and is providing students living in on-campus housing with food packages since the dining halls are closed, said Kyle Silvia, a junior at the university. "All of Narragansett is pretty much ending up underwater," said Silvia, whose three-story off-campus house is near a beach. "The waves are amazingly large, overpowering the sea wall," he said. "The whole house is experiencing shaking and loss of shingles and siding." Silvia thinks URI is handling the situation to the best of its abilities, adding that even on normal rainy days the university's campus floods pretty badly.

Another URI student, sophomore D.J. Donahue, is getting a kick out of the storm regardless of how the university is responding. "Personally I enjoy the storm because I get to witness it firsthand," he said. "I think it's very interesting because it is very uncommon to see a combination of a hurricane, nor'easter, and full moon high tide all at once."


University Updates Pages


CUNY shelters:


Manhattan College: FIT updates page:

University of Buffalo:

JWU evacuation:


Narragansett flood:

UConn updates page:

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