Students forced to relocate from dorms

Lily Altavena and Nicole Brown

Students in select dorms received an email on Tuesday evening notifying them that they had to leave their building by 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Tom Ellett, the vice president of student affairs, said that dorms without power — 13th Street, Alumni, Carlyle, Coral, Rubin, Second Street, Seventh Street, Brittany, Broome, Greenwich, Hayden and Lafayette—were all becoming safety risks. The University is not labeling this as an evacuation, but a relocation.

“There are no lights in those buildings, no water, no toilets,” he said. “It’s a health issue.”

Students without a place to go will move to dorms that have power: Founders, Third North, University Hall, Palladium, Weinstein, and Goddard Residence Halls, as well as Kimmel Center for Student Life. The Kimmel Center has served as the main artery for students without power and it has been estimated that around 200 people spent Tuesday on the floor, on the couches and wherever they could find a space.

“It kind of sucks, but I know it would suck even more if I had to stay there with no power or no water,” James Boland, a Tisch sophomore in Coral, said at Palladium last night.

The University’s response came at 7:30 on Tuesday evening, almost 24 hours after when meteorologists are saying the worst of Sandy hit New York. According to residents, many of the dorms lost power at around 9 p.m., the same time lower Manhattan did. Students did not just rely on emails from the University, but word-of-mouth, as many were without Internet.

“I think NYU did the best it could in the situation,” Angelica Paquette, a Liberal Studies freshman in Rubin said. “But the fact that many rumors were spread caused a lot of unnecessary panic.”

Some students opened their apartments and dorm rooms to those without power. Ariana Taberas, a Tisch freshman in Third North, hosted students from Alumni in their common room.

“People need places to stay, and we recognize that we’re lucky,” she said. “We have some light and we have some water here, so why not?”

In the Northeast, CNBC is reporting 6 million without power as of Wednesday evening. Lower Manhattan remains one of the hardest hit areas, where flooding ran rampant. NYU Housing will require students to stay out of dorms without power until it is restored. Ellett added that they expected many students to leave Manhattan, rather than staying at the University. Those hosted in Kimmel and non-dorm buildings can shower and Coles and Palladium, which are open 24/7.

Yaser Khalid, a CAS senior in Brittany Residence Hall, said that leaving dorms without power made sense. He heard the fire alarm go off several times during the night, indicating that the battery was about to die.

“It is a fire hazard being here,” he said.

However, most students said they were satisfied with the University’s emergency measures.

“I’m not happy to be evacuated but I’m happy I survived the storm, ” Paquette said.

Lily Altavena is a staff writer. Nicole Brown is a deputy city/state editor. Email them at [email protected]