Students should consider themselves lucky, not inconvenienced.
Earthquakes, hurricanes and twisters are a pretty unusual way to kick off the semester for students in Philadelphia. While Temple for the most part fared OK through Hurricane Irene, students, faculty and administrators should keep in mind that not everyone was so lucky.
Mayor Michael Nutter declared Philadelphia in a state of emergency before the category one hurricane, since reduced to a tropical storm, hit the city late Saturday night. Hours before the heart of the storm hit New Jersey, President Barack Obama had declared the state a disaster area worthy of federal aid.
On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people were without power, and the storm resulted in at least three local deaths. At time of press, at least 29 people were killed as a result of the storm. All along the east coast people are recovering from the damage Irene left this weekend.
Additionally, 81 percent of Temple’s undergraduate students are commuters. So, as classes resume this week, the Temple community should be mindful of those hit hard by the storm.
Main Campus weathered the storm well with only some minor leaks and debris, which crews began to clear on Sunday. SEPTA has resumed subway and bus services, which it closed for the first time in its history this past weekend, but flooding along the Schuylkill is still a concern.
Both Philadelphia and Main Campus were considered prepared for the storm and cleanup efforts. While a hurricane isn’t the welcome incoming freshmen might have anticipated, the class of 2015 and students in the Temple community should follow the example and in the event of natural disasters, take steps to ensure their safety.
Students might fight the last minute classroom changes an inconvenience, but as areas still reeling from the disaster should show us, it could have been much worse.