Power Update: Classes Resuming…Homecoming/Family Weekend on the Horizon

11/2/11 6:30 PM

Dear Friends,

Life at Wesleyan is returning to normal, but the aftermath of the storm is still very much with us, including lack of power and heat for a significant number of students on campus – and for many faculty and staff in the region. Connecticut Light and Power states on its website that power will be restored to all of Middletown by the end of the day Sunday; we’ve been told that power along Church and High streets may be restored as early as tomorrow.

I’d like to reiterate what I said yesterday evening: We are making alternative sleeping quarters available for these students who need them. Those who want to bunk with friends in the residence halls are encouraged to do so. Those who would like the university to find them a place to sleep until power is restored should contact Residential Life at: 860 685-3550. We will use common spaces and lounges in our residence halls and will open other venues as needed.

The Science Library will be open 24 hours today and tomorrow for students, faculty, and staff needing a warm place to work. The Freeman Athletic Center now offers the Wes community the possibility of really getting warm by getting some exercise. After some initial difficulties with the water heaters, I think we can now offer decent showers, too! Faculty, staff and students in need of a hot shower (even if they don’t want to exercise) are welcome to use the Freeman facilities.

Some Wes students have had the good idea of asking what else we can do for employees who need a helping hand during this crisis. Much of this is already being done informally and effectively, but if faculty or staff have particular requests, they can address them to Human Resources. We will do our best to be helpful.

Classes resumed today, and I was very pleased to hear from some colleagues that the attendance was very good. In my own class, I was delighted to see the eighty-some-odd students ready to talk about Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. I guess I am an old-fashioned teacher who can’t think of anything he’d rather do than talk about a great book with a group of thoughtful students.

To all the faculty, staff, and students who have pitched in to help in many ways, and to the many others who have provided us with essential support services — thank you! I also want to convey my gratitude to the families of students and to our alumni who have expressed their care and concern. I deeply appreciate your patience and the support you have been showing one another.  It is good to acknowledge that ours is a compassionate community, and that this becomes especially visible in times of need.

We are excited to be welcoming many visitors during Homecoming/Family weekend. There is a big football game against Williams, and many interesting lectures and programs. The Mighty Wes Women’s Soccer Team will be playing at Amherst in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament. They have had a great run, and we wish them all the best. GO WES!

I don’t plan any further updates for now, but I do look forward to blogging about China, liberal education, theater and athletics. Anything but electricity.