Staff Editorial: RPI provides communication to campus during hurricane

This past Monday saw the arrival of Hurricane Sandy to the Capital Region. Whilst cities along the coast were bombarded with heavy rain and strong winds, Troy faced relatively mild weather. Even with the lack of hurricane gusts and falling trees, the Institute leadership deemed it necessary to cancel classes after 12 pm on Monday in case weather turned very poor and students were stuck outside or away from safe places. We at The Poly would like to commend the Institute for its constant communication and concern for student, faculty and staff.

Long before Frankenstorm Sandy was to hit the area, Claude Rounds, the vice president for administration, sent out e-mails informing campus of the impending disaster and preparations that students should make. Then, on the day Sandy arrived, RPIAlert served to successfully notify students of the cancellation of classes. Alerts were sent out via text message, e-mail, and even sound alert via Concerto. That way, everyone except for the most technologically out-of-touch was knowledgeable of the school closure. Additionally, when the Rensselaer Union felt it necessary to shut down its servers, the use of the club officer list allowed information regarding the outage of club web sites to permeate to students. Clubs and athletics were fully aware of the cancellations of meetings and practices and everyone was kept informed. Communication is key when facing disasters such as this, and RPI did a great job in notifying everyone.

Hurricane Sandy’s effects on the Capital Region were very mild compared to Tropical Storm Irene, which hit the area last year. However, many places along the East Coast weren’t as lucky as the Troy area. Major cities were hit hard; Queens, N.Y. faced a significant fire and many other places are experiencing blackouts that may last weeks. Many students have family in these affected areas and we hope that all are safe and well.

Overall, even though the disaster was not very disaster-like in Troy, RPI did a fantastic job staying in contact with students, faculty and staff. And while many students were disappointed with not having a second day off on Tuesday, it is fortunate that damage to the area was minimal and everyone is safe.