Seton Hall readies campus, students and parents for Hurricane Irene

UPDATE: 1:25 p.m., A Tropical Storm Warning is still in effect for South Orange and the surrounding areas, according to a PirateAlert text message and e-mail sent to students. The alert told students to limit their movements outside of their residences and to “be mindful of local flooding, downed power lines, trees and other debris.”

UPDATE: 1:28 a.m., All students have been instructed to stay in their residences for the remainder of the storm due to weather conditions, according to a PirateAlert text message and e-mail sent to students.

According to residents of Turrell Manor, they have been without power since approximately 1 a.m..

UPDATE: 9:45 p.m., A flood warning has been issued for Essex County, according to a PirateAlert text message and e-mail sent to students. The alert advised students to exercise caution and not drive “into water covered roadways.

In response to the forecasted arrival of Hurricane Irene, Seton Hall University has implemented multiple precautionary plans for the campus and community.

Laura Wankel, vice president of student affairs, sent an e-mail to parents of Seton Hall students late Friday night, outlining the University’s plan of action which she briefed student leaders, including resident assistants and peer advisors, on earlier Friday.

“The safety and security of your student is our paramount concern in this situation and that we have taken a number of steps to prepare the University community for this major weather event,” Wankel wrote in the e-mail.

At approximately 6:17 p.m. on Friday, the University sent a PirateAlert to the community stating that Hurricane Irene is expected to hit the area, and urged the community to continue checking for updates.

The campus will be closed, including all offices and buildings, on Sunday, August 28, as noted in a broadcast email sent by Student Affairs at approximately 5:30 p.m. Friday. Students are expected to remain in their residence halls during this time.

According to the broadcast email, the SHUFly shuttle service will stop running at 12 p.m. noon on August 27.

Students will be receiving hurricane packs provided by Gourmet Dining Services Saturday evening to prevent students from leaving their residence halls.

The University will also open up an emergency hotline centered in the Beck Rooms of the Walsh Library. The phone number for the hotline has not yet been announced.

As well as the hotline, a web page will also be set up providing constant updates. The web page will be available to access off of the University’s main website.

Security personnel will also be staffed in resident halls starting Saturday evening.

Assistant Vice President of Security, Patrick Linfante, said that none of the residence halls have generators strong enough to fully power the buildings, but Xavier, Boland and Aquinas are equipped with smaller generators that power equipment such as exit lights.

Wankel also said that the University will make accommodations for students who live off-campus in South Orange and need shelter or have special needs, such as medical or dietary concerns.

In her e-mail to parents, Wankel said students who need these accommodations need to call 973-275-6840 between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday the 27th so the University can make appropriate accommodations for them.

In addition to University closure details, Wankel noted that all move-in for returning students is suspended from 2 p.m. Saturday until Monday at 9 a.m., conditions permitting. Students who cannot move in by 2 p.m. or cannot finish moving in must wait until Monday.

According to Wankel, any changes to Monday’s class schedule will be posted on the website.

Nicholas Parco can be reached at

Samantha Desmond can be reached at

Ashley Duvall can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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