Sandy Strikes

Elissa Sanci

She was mean. She was big. She was brutal. And she packed a punch of 90 mph winds, knocking down anything standing in her way.

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc up the East Coast, leaving destruction in her wake. Fortunately, the main campus of the University of New Haven was left mostly unscathed. Main campus did not lose power once throughout the storm and only suffered a few broken windows and downed trees.

The University opened its doors to over 500 displaced students, providing safe centers and a warm place to stay throughout the apex of the storm. The UNH Emergency Management Team kept students as safe as possible, providing them with shuttle services to and from Bartels Dining Hall.

Both graduate and undergraduate classes were cancelled Monday and Tuesday to ensure the safety of the students on campus. This gave students the opportunity to go home if they felt compelled to.

“Cancelling classes as early as UNH did allow a lot of students to make appropriate plans to get home,” senior Brandy Morenau, a Bethel Hall RA, said. “UNH offered a lot of assistance to those who wanted to go home, making their trip as easy as possible.”

Students were evacuated from their dorm buildings Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. by the E.M.T. to preserve their safety. Courtesy vans were provided to bring the students to either the Beckerman Recreation Center or Soundview Hall for the night, both of which have emergency generators.

“I think UNH handled the evacuation very well,” sophomore Adam Medford, a RA in Botwinik Hall, said. “They created a safe and monitored environment and took precautions necessary to keep those residing at UNH safe and accounted for.”

Many of the students who stayed on campus during the storm have nothing but good things to say about UNH. “I think UNH was extremely organized; I didn’t feel unsafe for a second,” freshman Nick Weilmann said. “They were extremely prepared for any circumstance and I was safer on campus than I would have been home in Long Island.”

Freshman Dallas Newcomb added, “I felt really safe at UNH, and I know they wanted us to be as safe as possible.”

“My mom was happy that I was in a location that had guaranteed power and that I would be around people who would keep me safe and updated about what was happening,” sophomore Jennifer Harrington said.

Following the storm, many of the students who went home had difficulty getting back to campus. UNH understood, giving the students an additional day of cancelled classes Wednesday, Oct. 31. UNH also offered increased courtesy van service to Union Station for all students who were not able to make it back to campus during the week.

“We are proud of the way you conducted yourselves and supported our emergency efforts,” President Steven Kaplan said in an email addressed to the UNH student body. “I am especially grateful for the efforts of the various student organizations that assisted during the storm. I also very much appreciate the work performed by the Emergency Management Team, Campus Police, Student Affairs and Residential Life to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on campus.

“We are glad to have everyone back on campus and to return to normal operations. Our thoughts are with everyone who continues to recover and rebuild following the storm.”