On October 29, 2012, the perfect storm scored a direct hit on New Jersey. As a result, millions of people, including the CSE community, lost power for weeks. In the same spirit as the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” the CSE community came together to make the best of a terrible situation.
The student life, information systems, and facilities staffs worked through the power outage to safeguard students, to restore communication systems, and to restore heat and light to the campus. The facilities team stayed on campus the night of the storm and woke the next day to multiple downed trees and power lines. Their work was cut out for them. Resident Life Staff also spent the night on campus and spent days evacuating students to Centenary College and finding safe havens for them in the days that followed. Food services planned ahead and stocked the freezer with more than 600 pounds of ice so food did not spoil during the power outage, during which they did an outstanding job, remaining on campus throughout the hurricane and providing meals in the residence halls.
The College remained in contact with the CSE community with regular updates via SMS texting, e-mail and mass phone calls. It also maintained an off-campus website for relaying more detailed information.
Once back on campus, the question of salvaging the semester was quickly tackled. The fall semester was extended by one week, until December 14 with exam week following. Last date to withdraw from full or session B classes is December 3. Last date to drop session B courses is November 19. Registration dates remain the same. Intercession courses will begin as scheduled on December 17. Students who may be having difficulties with these changes or with Sandy related issues, are urged to contact the faculty or the administration who are dedicated to working with them. Student aides may make up any lost work hours with the permission of their supervisors.
On Monday, November 12, the College re-opened and the campus community came together, working to get back to normal. Their efforts were are appreciated. Says Sister Francis Raftery, CSE president, at the end of the week, “On the Friday of this wonderous week post Sandy, I can't thank the campus community enough for your great hospitality to our students as they returned home. Your spirit of flexibility and understanding are among all of those things that make CSE such a rich and supportive community of learning. So, thank you.”In closing, another cliché comes to mind: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” and, at the College of Saint Elizabeth, they certainly did.