Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene and College Moving In (or Out) Day

Hurricane Irene is coinciding with moving in day for many colleges in the Northeast of the US so there has been quite a lot of decision-making and schedule reshuffling going on.

Some colleges have moved the arrival date up to tomorrow, Saturday, August 27, while others have gone as far as closing campuses until Tuesday. In any event, the college orientations in the Northeast I-95 corridor will clearly need to engage in some disruption management and refocusing.

The Boston Globe is reporting on what colleges from Harvard to various UMass campuses are doing in light of Hurricane Irene, which is to hit Massachusetts this Sunday. NYU has delayed its arrival day for students from Sunday until Monday, according to The New York Times, which is also reporting that certain hospitals and nursing homes in NYC in low-lying areas have begun evacuations today. New York City's Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, was chairman of the community health sciences department at Tulane University when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.

According to The Boston Globe: At least one college was planning to weather the storm with very few changes to its original plan. Andrew Klein, the Dean of Student Affairs at Anna Maria College, a small liberal arts school in the Worcester suburb of Paxton, said the school would start classes Monday as scheduled. As for its 285 freshmen, orientation was still on.

A university in western Massachusetts, Westfield State, is taking a completely different approach and its President, Dr. Dobelle, has issued a statement saying that all students must vacate the campus, beginning today, Friday at 4PM, through Tuesday morning.

Remember the proverb: Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.