TO: All members of the Holy Cross Community
FR: Michael C. McFarland, S.J., President
RE : Thank you—and welcome
The 2011-12 academic year at Holy Cross has begun with the arrival of the Class of 2015.
With a tropical storm bearing down as the new students settled into their residence halls, it certainly has been one of the most memorable openings in recent College history. We are fortunate that our campus did not sustain any injuries, consequential damage or loss. Our prayers are with the families and communities up and down the East Coast and in northern New England who are still coping with the aftermath of the storm. For our own staff and families who may have power outages or damage to their properties, please contact your supervisors and the Human Resources Department to alert them to any difficult situations or circumstances you may be experiencing.
With the threat of widespread destruction, transportation disruptions, and other delays and cancellations, the storm affected everyone’s plans and schedules. The Holy Cross Emergency Response Team—with members from across the campus, including Public Safety, Administrative Services, Physical Plant, Students Affairs, the Dean’s Office, Dining, Residence Life, and many other offices—worked cooperatively to monitor the course of then-Hurricane Irene, to formulate and execute contingency plans, and to manage campus operations safely and effectively during the severe weather. When it became clear that the worst of the storm would hit Worcester on Sunday, August 28, alternative plans were made for our opening—including the decision to have upperclass students delay their return to campus. That decision was not made lightly, and was the result of a great deal of care, deliberation, and analysis of the available data. Uppermost in everyone’s minds was the safety of our students.
First-year students and transfers were able to move in on Saturday as originally scheduled; and the process went extraordinarily smoothly. This was a great tribute to the leadership and organization of professional staff in Residence Life, Student Affairs, Public Safety and many other offices; the exceptional work of student Orientation Leaders, Resident Assistants and other student leaders; and the volunteer help of many local alumni. The incoming students and their families were overwhelmed by the efficiency, dedication, warmth, and enthusiasm of all who worked that day.
The newly arrived students were able to proceed with Gateways activities throughout the weekend, though some programs needed to be moved to the residence halls during the height of the storm. Returning students will be arriving on campus over the next couple of days, with classes beginning on Wednesday as scheduled. Every effort is being made to accommodate those students whose arrival has been delayed by the storm.
As we begin this academic year, I am again reminded of how grateful I am for all each of you does for Holy Cross. Your valuable contributions to this community are what makes this such a distinctive place to work and learn.
We are grateful to report that no one was injured and the campus did not sustain any damage during this weekend’s storm.
First-year students were able to move in on Saturday, and Gateways Orientation is continuing. An updated Gateways schedule was sent to all first-year students yesterday.
All other students should move in tomorrow. Your professors and Class Dean will make all appropriate accommodations if your return to campus is delayed beyond the first days of classes.
Classes begin on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
The “Shelter in Place” Order will be lifted at 5 p.m. Please continue to use caution as there may be some residual wind and storm debris. Kimball Dining Hall will be open and ready to serve the Evening Meal at 5 p.m. The Hogan Campus Center will open at 7 p.m. Orientation event information to follow via email.
For students living off-campus: Shelter-in-place order is still in effect on campus. Any student living off-campus who is looking to shelter on campus should call the Department of Public Safety at (508) 793-2222.
Due to the approaching storm the “shelter in place” order will be in effect beginning at 7 a.m. Sunday August 28. Students must remain in their residence halls until the order has been lifted. Kimball Dining Hall will be closed for breakfast tomorrow. We will continue to monitor the storm and we will provide more information as the storm passes through our area. Thank you for your immediate attention. If you have questions, please contact Public Safety at (508) 793-2222.
For Campus Community: The Holy Cross Emergency Response Team is continuing to monitor the course of hurricane Irene and to plan campus operations during the expected severe weather. Current reports indicate that the height of the storm could hit Worcester on Sunday, August 28. At some point that day, students and staff who are on campus may be instructed to “shelter in place” by RAs, Orientation Leaders, and other professionals staffing your buildings. Because your safety and security is our top priority, please be alert for such an announcement; and listen to and follow instructions. If a “shelter in place” announcement is made, stay inside; do not leave the building where you are located.
For Class of 2015: Because of expected rain and the need for many families to return home before the storm, the time and location Mass of the Holy Spirit has changed. The Mass will be held Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m. (instead of 4 p.m.) and will be indoors in the Hart Recreation Center (not the Hart Lawn). We look forward to welcoming first-year students and inaugurating a new academic year! Please see the revised Fall Gateways Move-In day schedule.
For new faculty: The start of the New Faculty Orientation on Monday, August 29, has been changed from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Please meet at 11 a.m. in the Rehm Library, 3rd floor of Smith Hall.
Update for returning students: Your safety on campus is our first and foremost concern.
After consulting the Dean’s Office, Residence Life and Housing, Public Safety, our own Physical Plant and facilities staff, as well state and federal emergency preparedness staff, the determination was made by the President’s Office to delay the return of upper-class students. We do not know the damage to campus or the area that this storm will bring. For your safety and for everyone else on campus, waiting until after the storm passes on Tuesday to move back to campus is the best option for you and the entire College Community. We understand that there may be some inconveniences and rescheduling on your part.
Your professors and Class Dean will make all appropriate accommodations if your return to campus is delayed beyond the first days of classes.
Please continue to monitor updates on the Holy Cross website and your College email for news and schedule changes due to weather.
Holy Cross Public Safety and Administrative Services are currently monitoring weather forecasts related to Hurricane Irene. While it is still early to predict weather conditions for Sunday and Monday, all members of the campus community should be aware that the National Weather Service has indicated a risk for serious impact to the Northeast states, beginning on Sunday.
This site has been established to update all members of the College community as information becomes available. Please continue to monitor this site for important campus updates.
First-year students: Move-in day and orientation programs for first-year students will proceed as planned, beginning Saturday, August 27. Members of the Class of 2015 can arrive on campus as early as 8 a.m. on Saturday. Orientation schedules may change. Please monitor this site and your Holy Cross email for updates.
Returning students: Because of the predicted course of the storm, returning students should arrange to move back to campus after the storm passes, which is expected to be Tuesday, August 30. No returning students will be able to move in on Saturday. Advising for second-year students currently scheduled on Tuesday will be rescheduled.
If any student’s return to campus is delayed by the severe weather, Class Deans will make appropriate accommodations.
Holy Cross normally advises students to bring flashlight and batteries—this impending storm is one of the reasons why. We encourage you to do so.
All members of the College community: Stay informed about the weather forecasts and take all precautions for safety, both on campus and in your homes—especially with the risk of power outages, high winds, and flooding.
Should weather conditions require a cancellation of any event in the coming days, updates will be posted on this site. Please also pay attention to your Holy Cross email for important updates during this time.
In addition to updates on this site, you can follow #hchurricane on Twitter for updates from the Office of Public Affairs.
Please continue to monitor this site for further updates.