Important Updates Related to Weather Conditions

October 28th, 2012 by 

Tuesday, October 30, 3:15 p.m.

FR:  Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President

Dear Members of the Holy Cross Community:

As the nation assesses the widespread effects of this week’s hurricane, I wanted you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the extended Holy Cross Community who are suffering hardship. The images and stories we are seeing and hearing from the hardest-hit areas are devastating. We know the families of many of our students and alumni throughout the Northeast and beyond have been directly affected by extreme weather, flooding, and other challenges.

Parents should know that students requiring assistance during this time have many resources available to them on campus.

We are all very grateful that our campus did not sustain any significant damage. On Wednesday, students will return to classes and full operations will resume. In the meantime, major offices and departments (including Student Affairs, Alumni Relations, Admissions, and others) are open for business. Our website and various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter) are reporting campus updates and information on rescheduled events.

Before and throughout the storm, our campus worked together in a manner that made me very proud to be a member of this extraordinary community. From providing “to go” meals in Kimball to ensuring that students were safe on campus and in residence halls, our staff in Dining, Student Life, Public Safety, and Physical Plant exhibited dedication, professionalism, and commitment.

For those of you who are still bearing the effects of this unprecedented weather, please know that you are in our prayers.

With all best wishes from Mount St. James for your health and safety,

Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.


Tuesday, October 30, 9:45 a.m.

TO:  Faculty, staff and students
FR:  William J. Conley, Director of Administrative Services
RE:  Update on campus operations

The College’s Emergency Response Team met this morning to review the next steps in restoring full services to the campus.  The “shelter-in-place” order was lifted at 8 a.m., and buildings are being opened throughout the day, although classes are canceled today.  The campus sustained minor tree damage, and clean-up is in progress.

Students:  Kimball will reopen at 10 a.m. for brunch.  Hart Recreation Center and the Fieldhouse are now open, as is Hogan Campus Center.  Dinand Library and all academic buildings will open at 10 a.m.

Employees:  The College expects to return to full business operations by Wednesday, and will be operational on a department-by-department basis throughout the day today.  As we restore full campus services, we are aware that some employees might still be without power and dealing with other issues in the wake of the storm.  The College has a liberal leave policy, so please check with your supervisor if circumstances do not permit you to return to campus when you are scheduled.  Campus services (such as dining in Kimball and showers) are available to employees and their families who require them.  Nonessential employees should check with their supervisors about their expected return to campus.

Campus community:  Please continue to monitor the College website and your email for updates from faculty, advisors, and supervisors.

I am grateful for everyone’s cooperation and attentiveness during this time, and would like to extend special appreciation to employees in Dining, Public Safety, Physical Plant Trades and Grounds, Residence Life, Library Services, and Health Services.  The men and women in these areas worked before, after and during the storm to keep the campus and our community members safe.  I am also grateful to the members of the Emergency Response Team, who helped with all matters related to planning and communication the last few days.

Thank you.


Tuesday, October 30, 8:16 a.m.

The shelter-in-place order is now lifted. Kimball Hall will reopen at 10 a.m. for brunch. An email will be sent out to the community soon with more information.

All employees are asked to monitor the Holy Cross website and their emails for their scheduled return as we begin to resume normal campus operations.

Please be vigilant walking around campus as we did sustain some minor tree damage.


Monday, October 29, 2 p.m.

As previously announced, a “shelter-in-place” order is now in effect on campus. High winds are expected. Do not leave your campus building until the order is lifted. Based on weather reports, we anticipate the order will be lifted Tuesday morning. We will update you as information becomes available.


Monday, October 29, 12:03 p.m.

The College’s Emergency Response Team has met this morning to review weather forecasts, preparations on campus, and what we expect on campus over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Students:  During lunch at Kimball today, you may pick up “to go” meals — dinner for this evening and breakfast for tomorrow morning — to take back to your residence hall.  At 2 p.m., as the storm is expected to worsen, a “shelter in place” order will be issued.  At that time, you must stay in your residence hall until that order is lifted, as expected, on Tuesday morning.

With sustained rain and expected increasing winds, this is still a very dangerous storm.  It is important that you take weather reports very seriously, and be attentive to instructions and direction.  Do not move around campus while the “shelter in place” order is in effect.

Reminder:  Classes are canceled on Tuesday, October 30.

Employees:  All non-residence halls on campus will close at 2 p.m. today.  Based on the storm’s tracking, we expect that campus buildings and operations will begin to return to normal on Tuesday, October 30.  Essential personnel must report to work on Tuesday, but with some buildings expected to open during the day (see anticipated schedule below), non-essential personnel who work in the opening buildings, should check with their supervisor for specific instruction.  Please continue to monitor the College website and your email for updates.  Please take weather reports very seriously and limit your travel.  Scattered power outages have already been reported in the region, and these may be prolonged. Check with your supervisor if you and your family are without power and need to utilize available campus services, including Kimball Dining (after it reopens).

All members of the campus community:  Based on the storm’s tracking, we expect to begin re-opening the campus Tuesday morning, although classes will not be held.  The Emergency Response Team will meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday, and will confirm and communicate the reopening schedule at 9 a.m.  At this point, based on weather forecasts, we anticipate the following:

8 a.m.  Hart Recreation Center and the Fieldhouse will open.

10 a.m. Dinand Library will open.

10 a.m.  Hogan Campus Center (including Cool Beans and Lobby Shop) and Kimball Hall will open.  Kimball will be open beginning with brunch.

4 p.m.  Science Complex (including Science Library) will open.

Many of Tuesday’s campus events and meetings have been and will remain canceled.  If Hogan reopens, as expected, student clubs and organizations may opt to hold their meetings.  Please monitor your email for specific instructions from faculty, advisors, and supervisors.

Thank you for your attention — and for being attentive to those around you.  In times like these, it’s especially important we check in with and support others on campus and in our neighborhoods.

In the event of emergency or critical campus situations, the community will also be alerted via Connect Ed telephone and email messages.  You will also find updates posted on the Holy Cross Facebook page and Twitter

Sunday, October 28, 7:45 p.m.

The Emergency Response Team, which includes leaders from various areas within the College’s administration, is actively monitoring the weather forecast related to Hurricane Sandy, and has been making preparations since last week.

Important message for students: Due to the anticipated impact of Hurricane Sandy on the region — including rain, wind gusts and possible power outages — and a request from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, all classes have been canceled on Monday and Tuesday. In addition, the regular business of the College (including routine meetings, all scheduled campus events and lectures, athletic contest, club and organizational business) has been canceled on Monday and Tuesday.

Important message for staff: Unless otherwise notified by your supervisor, only essential personnel in Auxiliary Services, Public Safety, Dinand Library and Physical Plant should report to work on campus on Monday. Faculty, administrators, and hourly clerical staff should not report to work unless notified. (NOTE: Some facilities will be open for shortened hours. If you are not sure whether to report, please check with your supervisor.) Based on weather reports and updates, the Emergency Response Team expects to alert the community to any changes in these plans, and plans for reopening the campus to staff on Tuesday morning.

The Emergency Response Team strongly encourages students and staff on campus to limit their movements. With the severest weather expected to hit late tomorrow, Dinand Library, the Hogan Campus Center, Kimball Hall, Health Services, Hart Recreation Center and the Fieldhouse will close Monday at 2 p.m., at which time a “shelter in place” order is expected to be issued. All other academic buildings will be closed, beginning tonight.

Members of the College community are strongly advised to stay informed about the weather forecasts and take all precautions for safety — especially with the risk of power outages, high winds and flooding.

Please continue to monitor this site for further updates.
Please also pay attention to your Holy Cross email for important updates during this time. In the event of emergency or critical campus situations, Holy Cross students, faculty and staff will be alerted via Connect Ed telephone and email messages.

Updates will also be posted to the Holy Cross Facebook page and Twitter.

Sunday, October 28: The following message was sent to students by Dean Peterson.

TO: Holy Cross students
FR: Jacqueline Peterson, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students
RE: Important information about Monday and Tuesday

As you know from the previous message from the College, because of the anticipated impact of Hurricane Sandy on the region — including rain, wind gusts, possible power outages, and the threat of flooding in coastal areas beginning tomorrow — all classes and routine campus activity have been canceled on Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30.

Dinand Library, Hogan Campus Center, Kimball Hall, Health Services, Hart Recreation Center and the Fieldhouse will close Monday at 2 p.m., at which time we anticipate issuing a “shelter in place” order. At that time, you will be instructed to stay in your residence halls. All other academic buildings will be closed, beginning tonight.

The Dean’s Office reports that the advising period for spring 2013 course enrollment will be extended until Thursday. Students should submit their backpack to their advisor for approval no later than noon on Thursday.

During the day on Monday, you will be able to pick up “to go” food in Kimball to take back to your residence hall. Hogan Crossroads and Cool Beans will be open until 2 p.m. for food service. Most of the College’s administrative offices will not be open, so beyond the staff in dining areas, Public Safety, and other essential service areas, there will be limited personnel on campus. An RA will be on duty in all residence halls.

I know that many of your families live in the Northeast and in coastal areas, and that you will have concerns about their safety. They, in turn, will be concerned about you. Remember that your safety is our highest priority. It is not expected that Central Massachusetts will be as hard hit as other low-lying areas in New England. Nevertheless, here’s what you can do to remain safe:

  • Charge your cell phone
  • In the unlikely event of a power outage in your residence hall, do not light candles. Use flashlights.
  • In the unlikely event that a window in your room is broken by a falling limb, move into the hallway immediately. That will be the safest location until help arrives.
  • Check in with your families. Let them know how you will get in touch with them. The Red Cross Safe and Well site is a good option if cell towers are unavailable.

You might also encourage your families to check the Holy Cross home page for regular updates over the coming days.

It would be very unwise for you to travel away from your campus location at this time; in fact, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has requested that people stay home and off the roads. Please also limit your movements on campus — especially as the storm intensifies, as expected, tonight and tomorrow. Be in touch with your residence hall staff, and monitor weather reports.

In the event of emergency or critical campus situations, the community will also be alerted via Connect Ed telephone and email messages. You will also find updates posted on the Holy Cross Facebook page and Twitter.

The campus Emergency Preparedness Team has been meeting since last week to take precautions and make plans. Public Safety is adding more officers and key College residential staff will be on hand to assist during the hurricane. We ask you to help us keep you safe by abiding by rules and directions — especially when the “shelter in place” order is made at 2 p.m. on Monday.

In case of an emergency, please phone the Public Safety emergency line at Ext. 2222. For non-emergencies, call Ext. 2224.

Thank you for your attention. Stay safe and well!

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