Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  

Fordham Campuses Survive Sandy

Contact: Janet Sassi

Across the Fordham campuses, some scattered orange cones and bits of yellow caution tape warn of damaged
By Nov. 1, Fordham students had ventured back on to Edwards Parade, while staff continued cleaning walkways of leaves and other debris.
Photos by Bruce Gilbert
flora, but while Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc on parts of the metropolitan area, students housed on both campuses weathered the storm in safety, as staff kept services up and running.

With the exception of an Internet and website interruption, power remained on at all three campuses.  Thanks to the dedication of teams of essential personnel, the view of Edwards Parade on Nov. 1 looked much as it had a week earlier—calm, cropped, and majestic.

John Puglisi, assistant vice president for facilities operations, said that approximately 50 staff members from campus operations and facilities operations were on site from Monday, Oct. 29 through Tuesday evening, Oct. 30. Fordham’s grounds staff cleared downed trees and branches to ensure roadways used by emergency vehicles remained passable, while campus operations staff manned individual buildings. Facilities Operations staff monitored utility systems and deployed pumps to areas prone to flooding.

At Lincoln Center, custodial and facilities staff were also on site 24/7 to attend to any wind or flooding damage, said Pete Bundock, assistant vice president of facilities operations at Lincoln Center. McMahon Hall housed nearly 700 students through the storm, including 47 Wilshire Plaza residents who were displaced when a construction crane came loose on West 57th St.

Hospitality services manager Brian Poteat said that Sodexo service workers stayed for the duration of the storm and its aftermath, keeping University cafeterias up and running. Food service staff began duty on Oct. 28 when the University’s Ram Vans picked them up from their homes and brought them in for the duration of the storm to work in shifts. The University housed the staff in nearby hotels.

Students were required to remain indoors during Sandy, where they devised ways to pass the time without the Internet. “It was a chance to be social with the people in my dorm,” said Arthur VanSuetendael, an FCRH freshman in Alumni South.

Post-storm brought a new slate of activities as students waited for classes to resume. On Nov. 2, a contingent of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students and faculty planned a trip to the city’s Lower East side to help elderly residents who had no water or electricity, while FCLC student Chris Hennessy set up a donation drive in the lobby of McMahon Hall to help Sandy’s victims. FCLC students also organized a facebook page, the FCLC Hurricane Sandy Response Group.

“We’re [here] because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.

The University has set up a fund for Sandy's victims. Contributions can be sent to:

Fordham Disaster Relief Fund
Office of the President
Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.

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