Some scattered orange cones and bits of yellow caution tape warned of damaged flora, but while Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on parts of the metropolitan area, students housed on both Fordham campuses weathered the storm in safety, as staff kept services up and running.
With the exception of an Internet and website interruption, power remained on at all three campuses. Thanks to the dedication of teams of essential personnel, the view of Edwards Parade on Nov. 1 looked much as it had a week earlier—calm, cropped, and majestic.
John Puglisi, assistant vice president for facilities operations, said that approximately 50 staff members from campus operations and facilities operations were on site from Monday, Oct. 29 through Tuesday evening, Oct. 30. Fordham’s grounds staff cleared downed trees and branches to ensure roadways used by emergency vehicles remained passable, while campus operations staff manned individual buildings. Facilities Operations staff monitored utility systems and deployed pumps to areas prone to flooding.
At Lincoln Center, custodial and facilities staff were also on site 24/7 to attend to any wind or flood damage, said Pete Bundock, assistant vice president of facilities operations at Lincoln Center.
Hospitality services manager Brian Poteat said that Sodexo service workers stayed for the duration of the storm and its aftermath, keeping University cafeterias up and running. Food service staff began duty on Oct. 28 when the University’s Ram Vans picked them up from their homes and brought them in for the duration of the storm to work in shifts. The University housed the staff in nearby hotels.
Students were required to remain indoors during Sandy, where they devised ways to pass the time without the Internet. “It was a chance to be social with the people in my dorm,” said Arthur Vansuetendael, an FCRH freshman in Alumni South.
The storm aftermath brought a new slate of activities, as students waited for classes to resume. On Nov. 2, a contingent of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students and faculty planned a trip to the city’s Lower East side to deliver supplies to residents who had no power, while FCLC student Chris Hennessy held a donation drive in the lobby of McMahon Hall to help Sandy’s victims.
“We’re [here]because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
On Nov. 5, the University set up a cash fund for victims of Sandy. Contributions can be mailed to:
Fordham Disaster Relief Fund
Office of the President
Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458