Chronicle of Higher Education: A Week After Hurricane Sandy, Students Step Up Their Relief Work

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Caitlin Peterkin highlights efforts made by Pace students, despite their own adversity, to help those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. (Left: Adelphi U. students sorted donations last weekend for delivery to areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Many of the items went to hard-hit Long Beach, N.Y., and another delivery is planned for Saturday. Photo credit: Michael Berthel, Chronicle of Higher Education).

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Caitlin Peterkin highlights efforts made by Pace students, despite their own adversity, to help those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the damage it inflicted on many college campuses in the New York metropolitan area, there has been a swelling of support from students, including those who were personally affected by the storm. In the last week, students have called closed campuses to volunteer, organized donation drives, and delivered food and supplies to local residents, among other relief efforts.

At Pace University, whose main campus is in hard-hit Lower Manhattan, students are working on several clean-up projects coordinated by the New York City government and a local church. This week, the university’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee is holding a clothing drive.

Pace itself did not suffer serious damage in the storm, but it had to evacuate a residence hall, and buildings lost power. Classes resumed only on Wednesday. But last weekend, a group of students, flashlights in hand, went to Southbridge Towers, a nearby apartment complex with many older residents, to deliver hot meals to the homebound.

“They really jumped to help,” said Marijo Russell-O’Grady, Pace’s dean of students. “Afterwards they had tears in their eyes, telling me how wonderful it was.”

Jordan Hirsch, a junior majoring in film and screen studies, plans a food drive to honor emergency workers. “I know a lot of students are involved with helping victims,” he said, “and I thought it would be a great idea to have students thank these first responders.”

The drive will be called “The Guardians of the Holiday Meal,” said Mr. Hirsch, an intern at Paramount Pictures. “The first responders were like our guardians,” he said, “so we’re taking that theme to the food drive.”

Sleeping on Cots in a Gym

Service learning is a graduation requirement at Pace, and Stephen J. Friedman, the university’s president, estimates that last year students performed around 45,000 hours of community service. This year he expects much of the service to be focused on storm relief.

“Many of these students themselves were impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Mr. Friedman. “It’s particularly a noble thing to do for students who themselves are sleeping on cots in a gym, to go out and help other people.”

Pace has set up an emergency-assistance table to connect students and employees who are still suffering from the effects of the storm with resources on and off the campus.”

Read the full article here.

The New York Times: “Student Gripes Have a Point: Campus Dining Fails Exams”

In New York City, where health inspectors have begun requiring restaurants and some food services to post letter grades for cleanliness, students have a new reason to gripe: bad report cards. It is unclear whether health inspectors are citing more violations because of the rating system they introduced last summer, or whether conditions in campus kitchens have taken a slide.

At Pace, an inspection of the main cafeteria on March 24 resulted in 79 violation points and the city’s decision to shut it. City inspectors found soiled wiping cloths and inadequate provision for hand-washing, as well as cold and hot food held at unsafe temperatures.

After the cafeteria reopened the next day, students organized a boycott and laid out demands for a new food provider. Within days, the university’s president and top administrators appeared at a town-hall-style meeting, assuring students that a new operator had been brought in temporarily and that they could help choose a permanent replacement.

“I was actually shocked at how well they responded,” Lance M. Pacheco, executive president of the student government association, told The New York Times.