Post-Irma Update #6: Classes to resume on Monday

Hurricane Irma 2017

Today has been another good day on our way back to normalcy in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. This trying time has brought out the best in our FIU family and together we are getting a lot done.

FIU will resume classes on Monday, Sept. 18.

Faculty and staff have made their way back to campus, the Green Library is open, services such as the Recreation Center and Student Health Center will resume operations on Friday, Sept. 15, and food vendors at MMC have started to reopen.

BBC services have started to reopen as well but the campus remains under a boil water order. The Barnes and Noble at BBC is distributing three bottles of water per person while supplies last. Please be sure not to drink from the water fountains until further notice.

Bayview remains closed. The property manager is working hard to get it ready. Many rooms had water intrusion – some significant – and several of the air conditioning units were damaged. Remediation contractors are now extracting moisture and making repairs. Please look for an announcement this weekend on when Bayview will open.

Academic calendar

The disruption caused by Hurricane Irma resulted in more than a week of class cancellations. In collaboration with the Faculty Senate, United Faculty of Florida and the Student Government Association, we have added a week to the end of the semester to help make up for lost classroom time. We recommend that faculty members update their syllabi so that this coming week is a makeup week. New official academic calendars will be published next week.

Finals week will be Dec. 11 to 16. Commencement ceremonies will now take place starting on Sunday, Dec. 17, through Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. We apologize for any inconveniences this schedule change may cause some families.

Panthers making a difference

Today a group of voice students under the direction of Vindhya Khare performed for evacuees at the Fuchs Pavilion at Tamiami Park. The students led singalongs of Disney tunes with the children. Members of the FIU Marching Band followed with an outdoor performance. FIU performers then went to the special needs shelter at PG 6 for a second presentation.

Members of the FIU-FAST team spent the day again at West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Jackson South helping treat emergency room patients, who have flocked to hospitals since so many urgent care centers and other providers are closed.

Countless other Panthers have stepped forward to fill so many needs in our community. In the process, we have met many other selfless people who have come to our campus to do good work.

Call center

The call center will continue to be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions related to hurricane recovery and campus operations. Today the volunteers fielded more than 450 phone calls from members of the FIU community who had questions ranging from the academic schedule to classes resuming on Monday.

The call center number is 305-348-HELP (4357). You can also call this number outside of the call center hours for recorded updates regarding university operations.

FEMA

Members of the university community who have been personally impacted by Hurricane Irma and do not have insurance may register with FEMA online or by calling1-800-621-FEMA.

Donations

Many of you are eager to donate and volunteer your time to help our neighbors who have been severely impacted by the hurricane. Please note that FIU is not a drop-off site for donations. Here are some ways you can help:

Time

The American Red Cross is looking for help. There is a particular need for bilingual (Spanish/English or Creole/English) volunteers in the Greater Miami/Keys area, LaBelle-Clewiston, as well as in and around Naples and Ft Myers. There is some need, as well, in Tampa/ St. Pete and Jacksonville.

There are two steps to join as a volunteer:

First, you will need to sign up officially as a Red Cross volunteer. You can do this online at this link: http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-irma-volunteer-application. You will be asked to fill out contact information and a couple of release forms—including one for a criminal background check.

Second, we invite you to click on this link http://bit.ly/2xipr8d and provide information about your preferred part of Florida to volunteer, and the type of work you would like to support. There is a variety of opportunities to choose from, including in shelters, distributing goods and food, and enrolling affected persons in financial assistance.

Money

Please remember that cash donations are always best. Financial help is critically needed and provides assistance to the most people in the fastest and most efficient manner. The Florida Disaster Fund has been activated and is approved by the State of Florida. It is administered by the Volunteer Florida Foundation.

The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are both widely recognizable relief organizations and welcome support. Contributions can be made specifically for Hurricane Irma relief through each organization’s website:

Red Cross Hurricane Irma Donations

Salvation Army Hurricane Irma Donation

Supplies

Goodwill Industries is partnering with the Red Cross to accept, manage, sort and make goods available where needed. In addition to being a processing center, Goodwill Industries has also developed its own program focused on people who lost possessions due to storm damage or flooding, or who remain without power and need dry clothing to wear as well as housewares.

While Goodwill Industries can accept almost anything, the current focus is on clothing, shoes, towels, linens and household goods. No perishable food, please. Goodwill Industries prefers, where possible, that all packaging be shrink-wrapped and palletized.

Official communication

Please remember that official information about campus reopening and other conditions is being communicated through email, FIU’s official social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter), on the university’s news site and through local media. You may also call 305-348-HELP (4357) for updates.

 

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