Read President Raab's letter updating hurricane relief and recovery at Hunter
To the Hunter community:
We hope you and your families are safe and well. If you, your loved ones, or your property have been adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy, please feel free to reach out, and we will do what we can to help.
We want our students to know that we are able to provide emergency funds to help you cover a temporary loss of housing or meet other critical needs. We have started a temporary loan fund for emergency expenses and can provide assistance on applications for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). We are also working with student government to devise other sources of funding and support for students in need. In some very limited cases, we have provided temporary housing for students displaced from their homes or our dorms. If Hurricane Sandy has left you with financial, housing, or related burdens, please contact Sharmeen Ahmed at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can assist you.
We also want to do all we can to support our faculty, staff and their families, many of whom are also facing housing, financial and emotional challenges as a result of Hurricane Sandy. We hope all in need will seek information about grant and loan programs and also seek our assistance for completing FEMA applications. Please contact Serafina Rutigliano at email@example.com for further information about possible support. In addition the CUNY employee assistance program, known as the CUNY/Life Program, is another helpful resource provided free of charge for all CUNY employees.
Whether or not you have experienced personal loss, we know that a tragedy like Hurricane Sandy can cause emotional stress. We strongly encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed or anxious to avail themselves of Hunter's counseling services. Students, please visit www.hunter.cuny.edu/studentservices/counseling-and-wellness/pcs. Faculty and staff seeking counseling should, again, reach out to the CUNY/Life Program.
We want to let the whole community know that our main library is open and on a regular schedule, including on weekends. If you are still without power and need to charge your devices, or simply need a place to study or relax, or use a computer, please come to campus.
Before, during, and since the storm, Hunter's main campus served as a shelter for students and city residents who evacuated their homes or who were left homeless or without power. Under the outstanding leadership of Hunter's Chief Operating Officer, Len Zinnanti, our emergency staff and volunteer teams worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure the safety and comfort of the approximately 250 people who sought temporary refuge at different times during this emergency. We are immensely grateful to our staff and volunteers and their families for their sacrifice. A special thanks also to Andy Silver, Marie Carianna, and Lorraine Gallucci for their extraordinary efforts.
We are particularly proud that conditions at the shelter remained at the highest standards throughout the crisis. Shortly after the storm, Governor Cuomo visited the campus to meet with volunteers and residents and to ask about their experiences. Residents praised the staff as professional and caring and the facilities as clean and regularly maintained. The governor and his staff offered their own praise in return, both for Hunter's emergency response and for its role more generally as a vital New York institution. And, as so often happens, there was even a personal Hunter connection: One of the governor's security people has a daughter who is enjoying her freshman year here.
Fortunately, our 68 th Street, East Harlem and MFA campus did not sustain any damage from the storm. Attention is now being focused on addressing the conditions at the Brookdale campus on 25th Street near the East River which was in Zone A and had to be evacuated. The entire campus -- from our dormitories to nursing and other health-related facilities -- was flooded. Power has been cut off since Monday, October 29, and even when it is restored, the phone and fire systems and technology have all suffered serious water damage. The labs, research facilities and classrooms in the East Building were especially hard hit.
We are committed to relocating, to the extent possible, the four highly valued Brookdale academic programs to the 68 th Street campus until we can reopen the Brookdale campus. Portions of our programs in nursing, communication sciences, medical lab sciences, and physical therapy have already been relocated to a space on the 5 th floor of the main library, equipped with technology and office space, where faculty can work, meet with, and advise students. Almost all classes in these programs normally taught at Brookdale will be relocated to either the 68 th Street campus or the Silberman School of Social Work building in East Harlem. The Arts and Sciences undergraduate science labs at Brookdale have also been rescheduled at 68 th Street. We are grateful to the faculty and staff who have been working around the clock to safely and efficiently transport necessary equipment for these classes.
Students in these four programs or who are enrolled in the arts and science lab courses at Brookdale should regularly check Hunter's website for a complete listing of rescheduled courses and new locations. Under the expert guidance of Assistant Vice President Rick Chandler, we continue to monitor conditions at Brookdale. To the extent possible, our facilities staff have been working with faculty there to salvage equipment and research projects. Much of the water has been removed and environmental remediation is underway. For any remaining questions, please contact your program's office or the office of Dean of Arts and Sciences.
The Office of the Provost is working closely with deans and program heads to reschedule classes cancelled at 68 th Street and other locations because of the storm. A partial schedule of classes is now available online. The schedule of classes will be updated regularly.
Finally, we want to thank everyone for their ongoing cooperation. As Hunter phased out the storm shelter last week, voting machines arrived so we could serve as a polling place on Election Day. We appreciate your patience as we fulfilled these important missions and as we continue to welcome our colleagues from Brookdale to 68th Street.
We have taken great pride in the spirit of camaraderie, generosity and self-sacrifice that has characterized the Hunter community's response to this tragedy. Thank you again to all who have contributed their time and energy to serving those in need. As our school and our city move forward, we know we can continue to rely on all of you. If you have questions not answered here or that arise in the days or weeks ahead, do not hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or on any member of the dedicated Hunter College staff and administration.
Our thoughts remain with those who have suffered loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy. We wish everyone the best of luck and spirit as we face the aftermath together.
Jennifer J. Raab