Hurricane Sandy wallops Wellesley
Storm devastates northeast, floods towns
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 04:10
For the first time in 27 years, Wellesley College canceled classes on Oct. 29 due to Hurricane Sandy.
Andrew Evans, vice president for finance and treasurer, announced the decision early Sunday evening, stating that while dining halls would remain open, all Monday classes and scheduled events would be cancelled.
The decision to close the College came after Governor Deval Patrick’s urged all campuses to close on Monday due to inclement weather. Peer institutions, including Harvard University and MIT, also complied with the governor’s request.
The hurricane made landfall Monday evening in southern New Jersey, with maximum sustained winds reaching 90 miles per hour. Towns across Massachusetts sustained damage to power lines and buildings, mainly because of strong winds that toppled heavy trees.
Chief of Wellesley College Police, Lisa Barbin, emphasized the College’s commitment to the safety of its students in light of the severe weather.
“Our paramount concern is for the safety of our students and community. We closely monitor such weather situations and plan accordingly,” she said,
Officer Barbin emphasized the College uses various resources, including Facebook, Twitter, email and text messaging, to keep the College community informed during crises.
She also stated that the College has never had to transport a student to the hospital because of a storm like Hurricane Sandy.
Across campus, most students expressed little concern about their safety during the storm, insisting that they felt safe on Wellesley’s campus.
Tricia Lu ’14 said that, although she felt confined to her dorm throughout what students are calling “Hurricane Day,” she enjoyed her day off of classes.
“I’ve gotten a lot of work done,” she said. “I’ve been relaxing and catching up on things I haven’t been able to do.”
Elizabeth Lechner ’13 was also pleased at the College’s decision to cancel Monday classes.
“I though it was a smart decision, especially on such a suburban campus with this many trees and [with] professors commuting. I think the safest option was to cancel class at least for Monday,” she said.
Lu also expressed concerns about the safety of walking around campus when strong winds could so easily blow trees over.
Although various trees across campus did sustain some damage due to the storm, no structures were critically damaged by winds or rain.
In addition, the Tanner Conference, which many speculated would be cancelled, proceeded as scheduled on Tuesday morning.