All News
Nov 05 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief, NYIT Style!

Old Westbury and Manhattan, N.Y. (November 4, 2012) -- New York Institute of Technology students and faculty pulled together to plan a blood drive, collect donations, and provide direct help to victims of Hurricane Sandy both within and outside of the NYIT community.

On Saturday, NYIT students made and delivered 240 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to Long Beach, N.Y. residents hard hit by the storm surge into their coastal community. The students heard about the need through Old Westbury Dean of Campus Life Francy Magee.

Old Westbury SGA President Robert Hammarberg sent an email blast and picked up supplies with Associate Director of Housing and Residential Life Jerome Holland. Fourteen volunteers set up an assembly line to make and bag the sandwiches.

“When I delivered the sandwiches, and other donated goods, to the Long Beach Relief drop off area in Freeport we were greeted and thanked by those organizing the effort,” said Hammarberg. “They were pleasantly surprised and graciously accepted them. “

The university’s two New York campuses were scheduled to open on Monday after remaining closed for five days. Students who are unable to attend class will have their situations handled on a case-by-case basis by the provost and their academic advisors, according to the university administration.

“Please know the NYIT community appreciates the extremely difficult situations many of you are facing,” NYIT President Edward Guiliano said in a message to students. ”Deans, faculty, and student advisors are working to get an understanding of the impact of Hurricane Sandy on you and your families.”

Guiliano also sent messages to staff, administrators, and faculty. NYIT will announce and open a phone/email hotline Monday for questions regarding personal situations, as well as suggestions on how NYIT can assist students and other members of the NYIT community.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, NYIT’s student government leaders and faculty fanned out across the area to deliver food and clothing, help with the cleanup, and attend to the medical needs of people who were displaced during the storm.

Last Thursday, Manhattan campus residents and staff attended a benefit comedy night at a local restaurant and brought batteries, blankets and food to donate for relief efforts. More than 25 students assisted in the clean up at Fort Tryon Park and Riverside Park in Manhattan.

“The Parks Department was very appreciative for the help,” said Susan Heim, director of housing and residential life in Manhattan. “They told the students that the people who work for them that would normally do what they were doing had all been sent to the worst hit areas to help with clean up efforts, so they had no one to clean up the local parks.”

Students are holding raffles, with all proceeds going toward hurricane relief. On Saturday and Sunday, students set up a table in front of the Edward Guiliano Global Center and collected $275 for the Mayor’s Relief Fund. The students are also planning to host a blood drive this week.

School of Health Professions Dean Patricia Chute noted that many staff members put their own needs aside to work in shelters, medical facilities, and neighborhoods.

“It is the earmark of being a health professional,” said Chute. “We are strong. We will get through this - together.”

Associate Professor Carol Caico assisted at a shelter run by a generator on the brink of running out of fuel.

“These poor people have not bathed since Monday,” she said. “We went to local hospitals begging for more supplies. People keep coming as the temperature drops, especially the elderly with no power.

“I admitted a lady in her 80's who lived alone and was brought in by the police. It is very sad and tears are shed even by us volunteers with the helpless feeling to make things better.”

On the NYIT Old Westbury campus, dozens of facilities and security employees began working to assess and address damage immediately after the storm. Dozens of downed trees were cleared and cut up throughout the property, making all roads accessible. NYIT employees also ensured that staff and faculty payroll was delivered on time.

Additional relief efforts are in the planning stages and will be posted on NYIT’s website and Facebook pages.

Contact NYIT

Elizabeth Sullivan
Public Relations Strategist
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Elaine Iandoli
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Karen Marie Belnap
Global Public Relations Strategist
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