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President's Message | Reports & Announcements


August 26, 2011

 TO: Campus Community
 FROM: Neil Kerwin, President
 SUBJECT: Hurricane Irene Preparations


Current reports indicate that Hurricane Irene is expected to hit the Washington, D.C., region on Saturday evening with heavy winds and rain continuing until Sunday. We will continue to monitor the storm's progress, transportation disruptions and adjust schedules and operations as needed. We want to make sure everyone is safe, understands the university’s weather operating policies and is familiar with our methods of communication. 

Your personal safety
There are a number of ways you can be ready for this event. Please follow the university’s guidelines on hurricane preparedness (PDF), the weather operating policy (PDF), and overall emergency preparedness plan.

We will have a full Facilities staff working over the weekend. They have prepared buildings and systems and will be available to address facility-related problems should they arise. If you encounter a facilities problem, please call 2FIX at x2349. Public safety staff will also be available throughout the weekend and can assist should an emergency situation occur. For an on-campus emergency, call x3636.  

Resident students are advised to follow guidance provided by Housing and Dining personnel. If you need supplies (e.g., bottled water, flashlight, batteries, etc.), please see your RA.

How we'll communicate university announcements
As we did in response to the earthquake, the university will use the communication tools it has at its disposal in as timely a manner as possible. These include Campus Connect "Rave" text and email alerts, the university's home page, Facebook, and Twitter and the general information line 202 885-1100. If you have not entered your personal cell phone into the Campus Connect system, please do so now at Now is a good time to log onto Campus Connect to check your contact information and add or update your information.

Status of university operations, continuation of classes
We expect the university to be open on Monday for classes and certain scheduled events. However, that may change. Some events may be cancelled or rescheduled.

Campus officials will be monitoring the hurricane and its aftermath and will make decisions about continuing various operations throughout the weekend based on the severity of the impact to facilities, systems, and transportation.

Students, regarding classes: if on-campus classes are cancelled, faculty will put syllabi online, and in some cases, conduct class online. Please be in contact with your faculty to know the status of your classes. Students unable to arrive to campus in time for the first day of classes or participate in online classes should work with their faculty to make up any missed work. Students will not be penalized if they miss the first day or two of class. However, returning students should be familiar with Blackboard and be alert to messages from your faculty.

Students, regarding housing: students will be able to check in and move in 24 hours a day over the weekend. Those unable to arrive this weekend can check in and move in next week as well. If you are unable to arrive over the weekend, please notify or call 202-885-3370. Please make arrangements to arrive to campus safely.

Your responsibility
It is the responsibility of all in our community to be familiar with the university's weather operating policy and hurricane preparedness. Prepare and be ready. Don't be caught off guard.

Be alert for university communications. In the event of delayed messages, resident students should follow the direction of Housing and Dining personnel.

Be patient. We will notify you of changes as soon as we are able.

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