BATON ROUGE – The eight University of Louisiana System campuses worked together before, during, and after Hurricane Gustav to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, as well as help general evacuees and special needs patients.
“Our university presidents and their campus communities went above and beyond the call of duty with a spirit of collaboration and selflessness for the betterment of our State during this trying time. From sheltering to volunteering to sharing resources, we have much to be proud of in our System,” said UL System President Randy Moffett.
The following chart and summaries provide an overview of the activities and outreach efforts conducted by each campus:
|Evacuees Housed on Campus
||Medical / Special Needs Patients & Staff
||Students Housed on Campus During Storm*
||Students, Faculty or Staff Housed from Other Campuses
||First Responders Housed on Campus
||Other (DSS, DEQ, La State Parks)
||Meals Supplied Off Campus
*Only counting students housed on an evacuated campus
**McNeese and Nicholls campuses were completely evacuated during the storm.
GRAMBLING STATE UNIVERSITY, Grambling, Louisiana
Grambling State University closed campus on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Wednesday, Sept. 3 and reopened on Thursday, Sept. 4. The University prepared to host up to 300 evacuees, although only 97 evacuees were housed during the storm in addition to four Grambling Fire Department personnel.
LOUSIANA TECH UNIVERSITY, Ruston, Louisiana
Louisiana Tech University was home to many displaced students and special needs patients during and after the storm. Approximately 100 students and staff members were evacuated to Tech from Nicholls State University. They were provided with all necessary housing and food services during their stay. The information technology staff (a total of 7) from McNeese State University activated their network remotely from Tech to ensure streamlined operations during the storm. Also, approximately 150 medical special needs evacuees and another 100 medical staff members used Memorial Gym as a shelter.
Tech was closed on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Wednesday, Sept. 3, but was open for the first day of the fall quarter on Thursday, Sept. 4. Tech students that had already moved into the residence hall before the storm and the subsequent closing of the campus continued to receive all normal services throughout the closure.
There were no reports of damage, flooding or road closures on the Louisiana Tech campus and at no time was electrical power or communication services interrupted.
MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY, Lake Charles, Louisiana
McNeese closed its campus and evacuated students with limited transportation. The information technology staff relocated to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and set up remotely to ensure seamless operations during and after the storm.
The campus reopened and classes resumed on Sept. 4. There were no reports of major damage, flooding or road closures in Calcasieu Parish or on the McNeese campus. Electrical power and communication services were not interrupted.
McNeese sent police officers to Nicholls State University, its badly damaged sister institution, to assist with campus security after the storm. Their support allowed Nicholls officers time to secure their personal homes. Additionally, the Lake Charles campus sent debris removal teams with supplies such as chain saws, generators and fuel to assist Nicholls.
NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY, Thibodaux, Louisiana
1-866-709-8927; www.nicholls.edu; http://emergency.nicholls.edu
As Nicholls State University was in a direct path of the storm, it closed the campus and evacuated all students with limited transportation to its sister institution, Louisiana Tech University. The University sustained much damage to its buildings and grounds such as roof damage to Ellender Memorial Library, Polk Hall and North and South Babington Halls.
Much effort took place after the storm to assess damage, clean up debris, and bring buildings back online. This included assistance by sister institutions such as campus police officers from McNeese State University and Southeastern Louisiana University, physical plant staff from Northwestern State University, and supplies sent by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The campus served as a staging area for 200 Wildlife and Fisheries Agents, as well as a temporary worksite for 40 State Police Officers from Troop C who relocated when their building was damaged during the storm. Additionally, 20 Officers from Troops G and L remained on the campus. By Monday, Sept. 8, power was restored to the entire campus.
All university offices reopened on that Monday and classes resumed on Wednesday, Sept. 10. In addition to continuing assistance to students through computer and Internet access, as well as dining facilities, the University Counseling Center is offering free services to all current Nicholls students and employees who need help coping with the emotional trauma of a crisis.
NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY, Natchitoches, Louisiana
318-357-5431 (University Police); www.nsula.edu/hurricane.asp
Northwestern State University hosted more than 100 international students from the University of New Orleans from Aug. 30 through Sept. 7 and 80 student-athletes, coaches, and support staff from McNeese State University from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.
Approximately 650 evacuees were housed at a Red Cross Shelter set up in the Health and Human Performance Building. Northwestern was closed Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Wednesday, Sept. 3. The university extended its late registration period until Tuesday, Sept. 9 to accommodate students wanting to register for fall classes. University residence halls and food service operations remained open during the storm.
There were brief power outages on campus through Wednesday, but there was no damage to campus facilities. After the storm, Northwestern’s Physical Plant staff members travelled to Thibodaux to assist sister institution Nicholls State University in recovery efforts.
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY, Hammond, Louisiana
Southeastern Louisiana University was in an impacted area of the storm. The campus closed but housed approximately 75 students on campus who could not leave. They also hosted a special needs shelter with 115 patients, 194 Entergy workers, 200 Shell Refinery personnel and 92 members of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s office.
After the storm, Southeastern sent campus police officers to assist sister institution Nicholls State University. Also, its food service provider, Aramark, provided 500 meals to evacuees outside of the campus.
The campus reopened Thursday, Sept. 4 and classes resumed Monday, Sept. 8.
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT LAFAYETTE, Lafayette, Louisiana
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette was in an impacted area of the storm. The campus closed prior to the storm and evacuated students except for 188 that remained during the storm.
The main campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette suffered isolated cases of serious damages, but most of the campus experienced loss of trees and limbs, with some roof damage. The most serious loss was on the South Campus where there was a fire during the storm that extensively damaged the Nursery Lab School for three- and four-year olds behind the Whittington House, at 102 Coliseum Road . Lafayette Fire Department responded immediately to put out the fire but the facility suffered near total damage.
The regular class schedule and all operations resumed Thursday, Sept. 4. Students who were unable to return to class on Thursday or Friday were instructed to contact the Dean of Students Office so accommodations could be made. Faculty and staff who were unable to return to work on Thursday or Friday were instructed to contact their supervisors directly.
Following the storm the university continued to support emergency personnel including housing 16 members of the National Guard, 30 members of the Louisiana Office of Social Services and five from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, five from Louisiana State Parks in addition to utilities services personnel for the region. Furthermore, the university supplied approximately 300 meals to Nicholls State University.
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA AT MONROE, Monroe, Louisiana
1-866-698-4887; www.ulm.edu/gustav; Email: [email protected]
The University of Louisiana at Monroe Special Needs Shelter in Fant-Ewing Coliseum housed approximately 300 special needs patients and 80 volunteers during and after the storm. Nursing faculty and students worked morning and evening shifts, providing acute care to hurricane evacuees who suffered from serious medical conditions. Pharmacy faculty and students filled vital prescriptions for the evacuees in the Special Needs Shelter, in addition to working at shelters in Bastrop and Monroe. Students and faculty from ULM’s Marriage and Family Therapy program and Counseling program provided mental health care to evacuees during and after the storm.
To ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, ULM cancelled classes on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and Wednesday, Sept. 3, and resumed on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Additional volunteer efforts included faculty and students volunteering at the shelter in the former State Farm Building, the Monroe Civic Center and the Pet Shelter in Shreveport; assistance with transportation coordination, triage sign-ups, stocking and distributing supplies for the state shelters; ULM faculty, staff and students donating toiletries, linens and other essential provisions to the Special Needs Shelter in Fant-Ewing Coliseum.