Campus News Community Featured FEATURED STORIES MU Life U.S.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

(The Verge)- Hurricane Sandy’s destruction forces the campus to close for a week, leaving those who stay behind in the dark.
“50 to 150 students remain on campus”, said Raymond Gonzalez, Associate Director of Housing Operations. “The numbers started around 150 but have been trickling down.” He said more students began to leave when talk of the storm’s severity increased.
Students stayed for a variety of reasons including athletics, distance and impact of the hurricane in their hometown, according to Corey Inzana, an Area Coordinator of Residential Life.
The University lost power Monday at 7:30 p.m.. Power will not be restored for five to seven days following the outage, according to Elizabeth Anton-O’Brien, another Area Coordinator for Residential Life.
“We have 20 to 30 trees down but no damage to buildings or residence halls,” said President Paul Gaffney.
The dining hall remains open for the students with power from a generator, although none of the residence halls have power.
“If I can get here I’ll come provide food for the students,” said Rachel Ingrassia, an employee at the dining hall. “They definitely need people here to help at a time like this.”
Ingrassia said she is unsure as to whether or not her pay rate is different at this time.
“The buildings are pitch black at night, but it’s nice to have the dining hall to eat warm food and charge my phone,” said James Carney, a junior who has been staying in Maplewood Hall throughout the storm.
“I feel safer here (on campus) since it’s farther from the water than my home in Long Branch,” said Kristine Gunningham, a sophomore staying in Willow Hall.
The MAC and Boylan Gym are being used as evacuation sites where students, as well as residents in the surrounding areas, are able to find shelter.
“The County Sheriff’s Department and National Guard are feeding our visitors and keeping order,” said President Paul Gaffney.
Fort Dix Army is contributing in the efforts to protect the campus. Raub, a U.S. Army member who declined to give his first name said, “We’re here to provide support to local law enforcement and assist the Red Cross.” He continued to say, “We will be here as long as we are needed.”
An excerpt in their mission statement said, “We are always ready, always there.”
The U.S. Army is positioned at each of the entrances on campus. They check every individual’s student ID before the vehicle is allowed access into the campus.
“I feel more protected with the Army here,” said Gunningham.
“There are multiple checkpoints that demand 24 hour surveillance on campus,” said Brandon, another member of the U.S. Army who declined to give his first name.
“We are asking students not to come back until Sunday at 12 p.m.,” said Inzana.
“We are doing everything possible to make the campus safe for the students’ return,” said Gonzalez.