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Rae Abbott

Hurrican Irene swept across the U.S. Northeast last weekend,disrupting travel plans for many incoming and returning Tulanestudents.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors who had been scheduled to arriveSunday were forced to change their arrangements and arrive oncampus on different days than expected.

Airports canceled thousands of flights or shut down completely.The New York area took the heaviest toll, where three of the fivemain airports closed for the weekend and two closed to incomingpassenger flights.

As roughly 19 percent of Tulane’s student population hails fromthe northeast, the disturbance was significant due to thehurricane. Ross Bryan, assistant vice president for studentaffairs, estimates that roughly 700-800 students had to changetheir move-in date. Bryan has never seen this at Tulane on such agrand scale nor in any other system he’s worked in.

“It wasn’t a disaster,” Bryan said. “We had to change up thecheck-in process and decentralize it in some ways, but we justadapted quickly. We’re lucky we have such a great staff here.”

Sophomore Sammy Bosalavage had been scheduled to arrive Sundaymorning from New York.

“I ended up having to rebook my flight twice,” Bosalavage said.”I finally left

here at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. From what I hear, I got oneof the last flights out.”

Some were not so lucky. Sophomore Nick Chvany was supposed tofly out of Boston on Saturday morning, only to find that hisconnecting flight, which would have arrived in Baltimoreapproximately when the hurricane occured, had been canceled. Oneadditional cancellation later, he finally arrived in New Orleans 3p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s been a major inconvenience, especially in terms of missingclass time,” Chvany said. “I still have work to make up, I missedsome floor meetings and have yet to empty my boxes from storage.I’m feeling pretty stressed and a little out of the loop.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the early arrival actuallyturned out to be positive for some. Freshman Tessa Barkan wasscheduled to arrive on Saturday but instead arrived on Friday.

“I was able to get everything set up in my dorm on Friday night,which was great because there wasn’t as much to do on Saturdayduring the chaos of regular move-in day.”

UGL housekeeper Eva Johnson said the early move-ins did notcreate chaos because at that point, the rooms just had to bespot-checked and re-cleaned.

“We’ve been here all summer cleaning the dorms, so everythingwas pretty much already ready,” Johnson said.

Whether the problem involved parents needing to get home beforethe storm hit or students being unable to get flights on theirassigned move-in dates, the office of Housing and Residence Lifetried to deal with the influx of early arrivals as efficiently aspossible. All the rooms had to pass so that they would be ready foroccupation.

“We couldn’t have done it without the help of UGL [housekeeping]Services, facility services and student help,” Bryan said.

Bryan said that the HRL couldn’t have given the students andtheir families anything less than its full sympathy and aid.

“‘Not for one’s self, but for one’s own,'” Bryan said. “If wedidn’t do everything we could to accommodate people’s needs, wewould have been contradicting our own motto.”


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