Hurricane Sandy Information

October 28th, 2012

Boston University is taking every precaution necessary given the threat of Hurricane Sandy. University wide planning started last week, and is in full force as the storm approaches. Because of the storm, classes are canceled on the Charles River Campus on Monday, October 29, 2012. An update about Tuesday’s classes will be given around 8pm on Monday.

The University will update students about the storm via several sources: BU Today, BU Alert texts and calls and University wide emails. The Dean Elmore, BU FYI and BU Tweets Twitter accounts will also update students as needed.

For more information on the storm, we recommend turning to local news channels or your preferred weather news sources. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a Sandy update page, and the National Weather Service has constant updates on the storm’s status.

Both Dining Services, Residence Life and Facilities Management and Planning have prepared for the storm on campus. Students who live on campus have received communication from Residence Life about preparations and resources. The email that on-campus students received is posted below.

If you live off-campus, make sure you are prepared by having bottled water, flashlights and non-perishable food.


Email sent to all students who live on campus on Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dear Resident Student:

You are likely aware that Hurricane Sandy is moving northward in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain to the Middle Atlantic states and parts of New England.  In the Boston area, we expect wind and rain tomorrow.

University personnel are prepared to deal with problems from the storm that may include water damage or power outages.  We expect there may be leaks into some student accommodations, and we ask that you take precautionary steps to protect your belongings from water damage.  Specifically, you should close and lock your windows when it is raining; remove electronics and books from window sills, bookshelves, and the window wall; and take items that could sustain water damage (e.g., shoes, clothes) off of the floor.

The University will closely monitor the situation and will provide updated information on BU Today ( or the BU Alert emergency notification system, if the situation warrants.  Please check BU Today regularly for information and updates, including any decisions that may be made this evening or tomorrow morning about the status of classes.  The University’s current plan is for classes to meet and offices to maintain regular business hours tomorrow.

Also, we need to hear from you as soon as possible if water enters your accommodations.  You may inform your local Residence Life office (hours: 9 am to

5 pm, Monday to Friday, and 7 pm to 12 midnight, seven days a week) or call the Facilities Management control desk at 617-353-2105.  The control desk is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Additional maintenance staff will be on duty throughout the storm to assist students.

If water enters your accommodations and damages any personal property, you should follow these steps:

1.  Conduct an inventory of the damaged property and hold on to the property (do not discard it);

2.  Complete a Student Property Damage / Loss Claim Form from the University’s Risk Management website (;

3.  Visit your local Residence Life office to obtain your Residence Hall Director’s or Area Director’s signature on the form.

Your Residence Hall Director or Area Director will submit the completed form on your behalf to Risk Management for review.  Be sure to request a copy of your completed Student Property Damage / Loss Claim Form for your own records.

Should you lose power in your residence during the storm, a flashlight is your best source of light.  Candles pose a fire safety risk and are prohibited in the student residences.  If you need a flashlight during a power outage, please see your resident assistant (RA) or the RA on-call; RAs have access to a limited supply in the hall and area Residence Life offices.

Lastly, we ask that all the members of the University community exercise caution in their travels – whether on- or off-campus – and good judgment to ensure their personal safety.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.


David Zamojski

Assistant Dean of Students

& Director of Residence Life


Marc Robillard

Executive Director, BU Housing and Dining


71 Comments on Hurricane Sandy Information

  • I am completely disappointed in this administration’s lack of respect for student safety. This is a storm like no other; forcing these students, many of which have never experienced a hurricane nor a tropical storm, to attend school unnecessarily is a complete and total failure of leadership.

    I was under the impression that the administration was looking out for the best safety of my child. I guess I was wrong.

    Shame on you, BU.

  • Meeting about what exactly? The Governor has declared a state of emergency, yet the BU administration chooses to take this warning lightly. One day of no school is no big deal when you consider that the administration will ensure the safety of thousands of students.

    I don’t need anyone from BU to contact me directly when they will spew the same tired rhetoric. I want my child to be safe. BU is telling my child to not be safe and engage the storm. What more do you want me to hear?

  • How come BU is the only school that forces students to go to classes during snow storms and hurricanes?

  • If New York City thinks this storm is dangerous enough to shut down their public transit system, I don’t understand why the administration thinks it’s okay for students to be walking outside… BU does not have its shortage of trees and there will be plenty of projectiles flying around. Don’t know about you guys but I’ll be staying inside.

  • As a student here it is nervewracking to not have received any information from administration yet. Every school on the east coast had cancelled classes but BU. How will students get to class? It will be very dangerous to be outside and the busses and T cars will be full. I will be very upset and disappointed if we have classes, and I am not a slacker who just wants a day or two off. It won’t be safe. Please update students soon, no one knows what is going on. Thanks

  • I agree with Mr. Smith, BU should reevaluate their decision based on what’s in the best interest in the students and faculty. While the storm forecast has changed, slightly, over the past 24 hours – one thing has remained the same Boston is in the action area.
    It does not make sense to have classes as normal despite the dangerous conditions expected over the next two days. Does the administration at BU have information they can share about why it will be safe to be walking around outside and going to classes when all the experts and weather analysts feel it will not be safe?

  • I am a junior attending Boston university and am very concerned about the safety and welfare of our student population with the coming Hurricane.
    All media outlets are encouraging us to take extra precautionary safety measures… and this greatly concerns me.
    To offer my opinion-
    I do not think that keeping to the university schedule is worth endangering our students.
    I have read BU todays article regarding Hurricane Sandy and find it amusingly contradictory.
    In one paragraph you state that it will just be a very windy and rainy day and in the next you declare that our hurricane task force is on alert.
    I think that this office is being unwise and hope that for our safety, greater measures are taken.

  • This storm is UNPRECEDENTED! There is no forecast of what to expect exactly. Is the school ready to accommodate an increase in injuries, on school grounds, due to high winds and flying debris? Or the legal ramifications of parents who trusted the school to do what was in the best safety of their children? I should not be penalized for not going to school on a day that the rest of the Northeastern United States has declared as dangerous. The school should be telling students “Dare to be Great” and not “we dare you to make it to class during an unprecedented superstorm.”

  • Dear administration, most of the students at the medical campus have to commute. I do not know how you expect thousands of commuters to rough 60+ MPH winds with 75 MPH gusts to come to work on Monday. I do NOT feel comfortable risking my life, against projectile branches and other things that will be flying around, while walking to the bus and then to campus. I can guarantee you that any injury of any student will make the school look very careless and provoke a riot from many parents at the charles river campus. Please reconsider…the state has issued a state of emergency for goodness sake!

  • This is supposed to be largest storm in recorded history. It may not affect Boston as much as it will affect New York or New Jersey. However, if it is half as bad as it is forecast to be, we can expect every tree to be down and therefore every power line to be down. Also, there is absolutely no way the T will run.

    It is a very poor choice to ask professors, students, and staff to hazard the storm. People are very likely to get stranded, regardless of whether or not Sandy is actually a hurricane.

  • As an international student I am not used to hurricanes and this does not seem all that ordinary. I wish we could at least get an update. The news channels say the worst of the storm will hit between 9 am Monday and 6 am Tuesday. I’m supposed to be in class on Monday all day…

  • There is a state of emergency, this is an unprecedented hurricane along the east coast, yet we are expected to attend classes. This is shameful, and BU’s bureaucratic leadership at its worst. I live on west campus, and would also like to note the fact that there is scaffolding set up along Babcock street with ply boards and other objects that are not secured, which should be taken down in preparation for the hurricane. BU is not taking the safety of its students into account. Shameful is what it is

  • I can’t believe BU cares so little about its students and their safety.

  • Why are we being forced to attend class when they’re expecting the coast of MA to experience 80 mph winds? last i checked, Boston is on the coast of the state. You are putting students in unneeded harm’s way. if jersey schools and transit authorities are already closed why isn’t BU? The campus is essentially a wind tunnel as it is. someone is going to be hurt because of this historic storm and the school’s refusal to cancel and bu will be sued. Let’s not let it get to that.

  • I am most concerned about the danger of flooding with the campus sitting right there on the Charles River. Lower Manhattan has already been evacuated in anticipation of this risk. Is there a plan in place to get the kids to higher ground should the need arise?

  • This is absurd. It’s clearly dangerous to be outside, classes should be cancelled. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to get to campus with 60mph winds blowing.

  • We were in Boston bringing our daughter to BU when Hurricane Irene hit, knocking down many trees on campus, and BU wants a normal school day tomorrow??? Where’s your common sense? Our children’s safety is more important than business as usual! Close the school for the day!!

  • This further demonstrates a pattern of lack of concern for student safety by the BU administration. It took 17 days for an institutional response to the 4 armed robberies that occurred on and near campus, and now they expect students to travel outside in heavy rain with wind gusts up to 80 mph as reported in the BU Today article. Not to mention that there has been virtually no comment on the two bodies recently found in The Charles right by the BU campus, this administration is surely looking to avoid taking initiative for fear of some sort of controversy, but that is exactly what they are creating. With the forecasted conditions and the Massachusetts state of emergency, the students should not be out walking to classes with the possibility of severe rain and debris.

  • I am an extremely concerned parent who is frowning upon BU’s administrative decisions. My child is supposed to walk to class dodging flying branches and and debris? What kind of institution is this. I will fly to Boston and sue this university if my little baby gets her eye poked out by some rogue tree branch. BU should be ashamed of itself.

  • Please reconsider this decision. My worry is students trying to get to class amid debris and possibly downed LIVE electrical wires! One injury is one too many when it could have been prevented! I know my daughter, who is living halfway across the country from home, will try to get to class unless you tell her not to go! Please keep her safe!

  • I only have two ways to get to and from school: a 30 minute walk, or a fifteen minute walk and a bus ride. Others have to deal with worse. We’re supposed to brave near-hurricane force winds because administration doesn’t want to miss one measly day of school? Have you been watching the same forecasts as the rest of the world?

  • I completely agree with the comments here. It is ridiculous for that BU Today article to state that it will merely be a “windy and rainy day” yet to also advise buying a flashlight and being prepared for power outages. I live off campus and have experience power outages in this area before, therefore am extremely nervous that I will not have power for an extended amount of time. If I dont have power (and therefore certain resources associated) it is unfair for the university to expect me to get to class. Also, there shouldn’t be a penalty for missing class if it is legitimately dangerous to be outside. I don’t turn a corner and enter a classroom building, its a few miles away.

  • Please retract your BU Today statement
    about a “common storm” . This is really irresponsible. I cant imagine walking across the BU bridge from West Campus in this storm. Please let us know where the Shelter will be. Advise students to be prepared. Take it seriously.

  • I’m a parent of a BU student I think it is very stupid of the college not to give the kids a day off tomorrow if there is going to be 60 mile an hour winds it’s very unsafe!

  • I am confident in the leadership of BU, including the incomparable Dean Elmore. I believe they will make a considered decision after gathering all the evidence, and will then disseminate that decision promptly and effectively, at the appropriate time.

  • Cancel classes! It’s going to be too dangerous

  • I just think that it is very ridiculous that, in BU’s own statement they state that students should prepare for power outages lasting up to three days, be aware of flying debris and 60mph winds, and to expect flooding, and yet they still call it “a very windy and rainy day” and think it isn’t in the students’ best interests to close the campus. Therefore students who may feel unsafe getting to classes from off-campus locations will be penalized for not attending.

  • I’m not going to class tomorrow. I refuse to risk my life just to learn Statistics. Nope. I’m staying home.

  • As a student, it strikes me as highly irresponsible of the administration to expect students, faculty and staff to endager themselves in severe weather conditions to attend classes and/or work. It is very poorly reflective of a school who claims to have the students’ best interest at heart. This makes me seriously question what the priorities of Boston University are; it seems pretty clear that the students are not it.
    Please take a moment to really think and determine whether asking over 17,000 students and thousands more faculty and staff to put themselves at risk is worth whatever image you are trying to portray in sticking to the schedule. I hope you realize the message you are sending.

  • I am disappointed to say that I am not surprised by the BU administration’s decision to remain open during a state of emergency.

    This will not be the first time BU has required students to put themselves in harms way to attend classes. Administration needs to reevaluate not only this decision, but also the decision making process.

  • Please alert students about the current weather situation. By all means, do not force students to travel outside during severe weather condition. The school should do a better job at evaluating the situation. A description “a rainy and windy day” is just as misleading students as telling them to go outside during hurricane like weather.

  • I am traveling back to campus on Sunday night from New York by bus, but I may not be able to get back tonight. Several buses have been canceled due to the hurricane, and the New York City subway is going to stop running by 7 pm. Many students and faculty staff, in both Boston and New York, will be taking public transportation to get to their classes on Monday, but are they all willing to risk their lives on the train when a falling branch might crash into it or them? If New York is taking precautions to ensure that its residents will be safe, then should the University not do the same as well?

  • Every school in the area has cancelled classes, governor has declared state of emergency, and most ironically, BU warns their students to be prepared while calling it a rainy day…yet BU still refuses to see the actions the state has taken as warnings of danger. Shame on you BU for being stubbornly irresponsible for your students.

    I am a massachusetts resident and because I do not agree with BU and care about my child, I have refused to drive my daughter back to BU from our central massachusetts home for class on Monday, it is an unsafe environment for people to be walking around the streets of boston.

  • As a commuting graduate student, I am very concerned about the pending weather event and the lack of support from the administration at BU. I commute from Quincy and rely heavily on public transportation to get to campus. Obviously, as a graduate student, I am very dedicated to my studies and I am expected to be on campus if the school is open. I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to suffer an “unexcused absence” from school simply because I am being conscious of my own safety, or I am stranded (should the MBTA feel the effects of the hurricane). Be logical, BU. This is a state of emergency, the city has cancelled public school, the governor is encouraging citizens to stay inside. How can you urge commuting students to have bottled water and non-perishables in the article above, but then in the next paragraphs state that we are still required to attend as scheduled? Please reconsider. Thank you.

  • If you make me go to class tomorrow, you are putting my life in danger.

  • While I understand that the impact that this storm with have on Boston is somewhat unclear, there is no doubt that the 60+ mph winds combined with the heavy rain will be a safety hazard. I have gotten accustomed to BU’s unwillingness to cancel classes due to weather, but I really think this is different. The risk of downed trees and power lines, as well as the potential for debris to be flying through the air is one that needs to be taken seriously. I understand that closing the university for the day brings some degree of inconvenience to the administration, but it is alarming to think that BU would neglect the safety of its students and faculty for the sake of convenience. I urge you to reconsider keeping BU open when such dangerous weather conditions are imminent.

  • If the mayor of Boston has deemed it unsafe for students to go to their schools, the fact that BU is an urban campus only amplifies the stupidity of the administration’s decision to maintain a regular schedule.

    College students are just as vulnerable as any individual who is walking on the street. My child should not be put into danger. And if their students’ safety isn’t BU’s priority, shame on you, administration.

  • I find the administrations lack of consideration for this storm completely disappointing. At a university where the overwhelming majority of students walk to class, forcing them to do so in such high winds is dangerous and inconsiderate. I really hope something changes.

  • It is dissapointing to see that BU would rather hold up its reputation of never canceling class than ensure the safety of its students. I thought that BU was more than that. It is evident to me and just about everyone in the northeast that this hurricane is nothing to take lightly or joke about. However for some reason Boston University does not agree with the popular opinion. To act once the hurricane hits will be too late. Students will be put in harms way already. Early action is necessary. Endangering the students of Boston University is certainly something that will be regretted in the future. It will not only have impacts on Boston University in the near future but it will also have long term impacts. My family and friends are beginning to question the integrity of the Boston University administration.

  • Hello,

    As a parent of two children attending BU, the only thing I can say is that I am VERY dissapointed by the administration. Are you telling me that my children have to go to classes even when the governor has declared a state of emergency?

    I will instruct both of my children not to leave their dorm and appartment respectively tomorrow, or even on Tuesday.

    I sincerely hope that BU administration takes appropriate action, and notifies BOTH parents and children ASAP.


  • I am so upset that what you preached to me during the Parent Orientation is NOT the practice followed by the University. To ask your students to battle 60 MPH wind gusts is just reckless. To put these students in harms way is ignorant. No class is worth the safety of your student body. I feel lied to today Mr. Dean of Students. You assured me my son’s safety was your highest concern….it appears to not be the case.

  • Schools all around the area have been shut down, and some are even evacuating. My family lives twenty minutes away from BU and is hunkering down in preparation – their public schools will be completely closed tomorrow. I am concerned about getting to class in a hurricane, and I live on campus. I can’t imagine how off-campus residents must feel. Not canceling classes is a serious threat to all of our safety.

  • Please do not put students and staff at risk

  • This is bull.

  • As a student from the Midwest, I am becoming more and more nervous as this storm approaches. I have no idea what to expect and all news sources describe a disaster. I appreciate this attempt to reach out to students, but I also feel extremely unprepared. Please keep students updated. We have the BU alert system for a reason.

  • I’ve already heard of some schools have their faculties harmed during the hurricane so I think suspending class is the lowist-risk choice

  • It’s 4:00 on Sunday, and I’ve barely heard anything in regards to BU’s plans for tomorrow even though Boston Public Schools have already cancelled. There’s also been a state of emergency declared. I have to commute to the Medical Campus from Brighton for classes – how am I supposed to travel safely in 60+ mph gusts? Although the hurricane will touch down in New Jersey/New York, it’s been continually noted that New England will be pounded by equally intense winds and damage. I don’t feel confident or safe getting to BU’s Medical Campus via the T and Shuttle Bus, but I don’t want to be penalized by my professors for not showing up. It would be nice to hear from BU on an answer to this soon, and not tomorrow morning at 7:00AM as possibly planned on the Medical Campus.

  • Quite agree with some of the other people noticing the lack of clear guidance from the university administration. Spending hours on Boston’s oft beleaguered MBTA (especially when the weather is bad) is obviously not the concern of the administration

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