Some commuters critical of storm housing policies
The recent superstorm Hurricane Sandy left many commuter students without power in their homes while Seton Hall maintained power, so they came to the University during the storm in the hopes of finding a place to stay.
Many desperate commuters came back to campus for a warm shower and a place to do their homework, however most were not allowed to be let in while the storm was actually in full force.
Commuter and junior Sara Mitry said she was unable to be signed in on campus directly after the storm, before classes started up again.
“We lost power in my house, and it was so stressful because I couldn’t get signed into Xavier where everyone had power and was able to do their homework in good lighting,” Mitry said. “It just sucked living in the dark, when I could have easily been signed in.”
Assistant Director of Housing Cheryl Janus, made it clear that students were not allowed into the buildings during the storm and immediately afterwards, but no one was turned away once the weather started to settle down.
“Any student who needed to seek shelter or simply a hot shower and electronics charge was allowed into our residence halls in the days following super storm Sandy if they were properly signed in according to our guest guidelines,” Janus said. “During the storm itself, we did not allow guests or visitors as the campus was closed and services were very limited.”
Janus went on to explain that anyone outside of the Seton Hall community was not allowed into the buildings during, and for a short period of time, after the storm.
“However, the HRL professional staff was given the discretion to provide for anyone who asked for help, accommodations or anything else during the storm,” Janus said.
While individuals who were not a part of the Seton Hall community were discouraged from entering the buildings, Janus reports that over 100 resident students were willing to take in any displaced commuters and created a welcoming environment to students in need.
“We provided over 60 commuter students with temporary housing accommodations within the duration of the last two weeks,” Janus said.
Junior Alex Bier still disagreed with the way housing was handled after the storm.
“I just felt like it was a lot more complicated than it had to be,” Bier said. “I eventually was allowed into the building, but it was a hassle.”
However, freshman Jarred Stancil said he felt that housing did their best to accommodate everyone fairly during the storm.
“We just had a terrible hurricane and the majority of the people who live off campus lost power,” Stancil said. “Obviously there is going to be some confusion. Housing did their best; it is unfair to accuse housing of wanting to turn people away. They just could not take in everyone all at once.”
Olivia Innamorato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.