Recovering from the Storm

November 5, 2012

Members of the Rutgers Community:

Francis and I send our thoughts and prayers to all our students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have suffered the terrible effects of Hurricane Sandy and continue to deal with them. This was a historically devastating storm. Many people remain without heat and electricity. We’ve seen damage to homes and communities all over the state, and most tragically, the loss of life within Rutgers families. Our hearts are with you.

We are one Rutgers – a community of scholars – and last week we showed what community is all about. Women and men on every campus, including many students, worked together to deal with the storm and to keep us safe and functioning. In a moment of crisis that affected the entire region, you performed at your best – and at great personal sacrifice. We had contributions from across the university, including Public Safety, Facilities, Residence Life, Dining Services, the Recreation and Campus Center staffs, the Chancellors’ offices, Information Technology, University Relations, and staff at each of the schools and centers. No doubt, there are many more individuals and divisions not listed here who stepped up during this storm, and I salute all of you.

In addition to everything you did for our own community, you also reached out to help other residents in need. Many of you have been volunteering at the shelters that Rutgers set up on Busch and Livingston campuses for New Jersey individuals and families displaced by the storm. Rutgers Environmental Health and Safety, along with our Environmental Services and Grounds division, helped the Red Cross set up and operate a site next to the golf course in Piscataway to prepare meals for distribution to the nearby shelters. These are just some of the ways in which Rutgers students, faculty, and staff have made a difference during Sandy and its aftermath.

There is still a long way to go in recovering, but with classes resuming we’re beginning to have some normalcy. We have asked faculty to be as flexible as possible in accommodating students who have been severely affected by the storm or may still be without electrical power or means of transportation. The Rutgers community is resilient, and with your continued cooperation, we will get through this difficult time.

Having witnessed this community’s swift, sustained, and even heroic response to the first emergency of my time as president, I am very proud of all of you, and proud of Rutgers.

Sincerely,

Bob Barchi