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Has there ever been an emergency or disaster on your campus? How did your school handle it?
This question was inspired by a couple of events. One reason is that today is the fifth anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech. At that point in time, I had a couple of friends who were my sister's age that were finishing up there education at VT. I remember thinking "I can't even imagine how terrifying that must be."
The second reason is that over the weekend, a EF2 tornado hit the main campus at my school. The article doesn't say much more than that the school was hit. The details are that two of the dorms were basically destroyed. Every dorm building sustained damage. The students have been moved to an area hotel because ALL dorms are now uninhabitable. It's crazy. We have no classes for at least the next several days. Most of the damage was to the dorms, so classes should resume next week. I'm working with another student to put together a group from out satellite campus to go over an volunteer at least tomorrow.
ETA: If you have facebook, you can see other pictures taken by students . Hopefully that link works!
The area surrounding my SO's school was very badly damaged by a tornado about a year ago, but not nearly as badly as the state university to the west of us. My school had already dismissed for the semester, but his classes had already been delayed a week by a freak snow storm earlier in the semester that had shut down campus, so this tornado came during the second to last week of class. They ended up giving the option for students to receive the grade that they had prior to finals or coming back several weeks later (after summer semester started) to take finals. As I understand it the professors were not at all happy about it, something about paperwork that would have to be filled out by each professor for each student. But there wasn't much that they could do except strongly encourage the students to come back later to take the finals. The larger state school had finished the semester, but finals had not started. They shut down campus, sent everyone home, and students received the grades that they had at that point.
I also went to school in an area that was peripherally affected by Katrina. Since that was much earlier in the semester, students were relocated from NOLA/Mississippi schools to surrounding universities (one of which was the one I was at). The surrounding universities placed these students into equivilent classes and waived tuition.
We've never had an actual emergency. A student pulled a fire alarm during finals week once and it was scary just seeing how impossible it would be to get the hundreds of students out of the building in case an actual emergency ever occurred.
I have to say.... after spending all day on campus yesterday cleaning up debris and emptying out the dorms, it's a miracle no one was killed at my school. The dorm rooms were a disaster! There are very few rooms anywhere on campus that didn't have at least some damage. The hardest hit rooms are were just unbelievable. We are pretty luck that this happened on a weekend and at a time during the weekend when MOST of the students were off campus, either at home for the weekend or in town for dinner or a movie.