Update from NYU Steinhardt after Hurricane Sandy
I hope that you and your families are safe following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. NYU officially reopened this week for classes and activities, and I write to update you on the University’s response and recovery.
The most important news is that our community is safe and well. There were no injuries and only minor damage at our Washington Square campus. Like all of downtown Manhattan, we were without power for an entire week, including in most of our residence halls. Fortunately, a few of our buildings are powered by the University’s Cogeneration Plant, including the Kimmel Center for University Life, which became a temporary home for our displaced students. By Wednesday, the University relocated approximately 6,000 students from residence halls to other dorms with electricity and non-residential facilities, and provided them with food, access to electricity to charge their phones, and—for those who stayed on campus—a place to sleep. One night, students were treated to an impromptu party with music provided by Steinhardt musicians in the atrium of Bobst Library. NYU continued to provide updates and resources to faculty, staff, and students—both on and off campus—as we recovered. You can read many of these updates at http://www.nyu.edu/life/safety-health-andwellness/info-alerts.html.
Over the course of the week, we were witness to the resiliency and heroism in our community. I know of many faculty, many of whom were also without power, who contacted their students and assured them that although their education would be interrupted, it would be continued and completed. I know of administrators who caught only a few hours of sleep, in their offices, so that they could continue to communicate with city agencies and monitor the safety of our faculty, staff, and students. And our students have begun to use social media and other networks to mobilize volunteers and assist with the recovery effort.
Indeed, although NYU is operational once more, we are aware that many of our friends still face tremendous challenges. I am coordinating closely with our deans, department chairs, and advisors to make certain that all faculty, staff, and students are accounted for, safe, and have access to the resources to help them rebuild and continue their work. In addition, we are asking for their help in identifying what resources they need most, from temporary housing and emergency funds to classrooms and technology that will enable them to make up for lost classroom time.
As we reflect and move forward, we are grateful for friends like you, whose support has given us the inspiration and strength with which to recover and continue to achieve new levels of excellence in all that we do. We look forward to the remainder of another successful semester—and, now that we are operational, we invite you to return to campus soon for a performance, lecture, or exhibition. Please visit our website at http://steinhardt.nyu.edu for our calendar of upcoming events.