In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the University of Central Florida has decided to push back resuming classes until Monday, September 18.
Previously, UCF had plans to resume classes on Thursday, September 14 – from Tuesday and Wednesday, September 12 and 13 – but have decided to further push back the start date to accommodate students post storm, as other universities have done.
According to reports, 7 million Floridians have lost power because of the storm, including over 1.5 million in Central Florida. Near UCF, multiple apartment complexes are still in the dark.
“This will probably be the largest utility restoration and rebuild project in the history of the United States,” said vice president of marketing at Orlando Utilities Commission Roseann Harrington to the Orlando Sentinel.
Post-Irma, students have been sending Knight News messages and tweets explaining that they will be unable to return to Orlando for classes anytime soon after evacuating not only across the state but out of state as well. Along with messages on Facebook and emails to university administrators, UCF decided to move classes to Monday.
“UCF is responding to feedback from students and parents concerned that between limited flights and heavy traffic, it would be difficult for students to return to campus this week,” UCF said.
“The decision was made to provide students enough time to manage any impacts Hurricane Irma had on their families and to return to campus safely.”
Faculty and staff members will report to work on Friday, Sept. 15 to prepare for normal university operations next week. Faculty and staff should contact their supervisor if they anticipate problems returning on Friday.
“Our state has endured a powerful storm and stressful time,” said UCF President John C. Hitt
“I thank the essential university personnel and student resident assistants who worked during the storm. I remind our community that patience, compassion, and gratitude will go a long way in the busy and challenging days ahead.”
UCF has since reopened residence halls to on-campus students. Food service at 63 South and Knightro’s will resume Tuesday.
“To assist with recovery efforts, the university volunteered to serve as a staging area for the National Guard. Up to 1,000 troops are expected to stay at Spectrum Stadium, along with hundreds of recovery vehicles and equipment,” the university stated.
“On Monday, hundreds of National Guard members arrived on campus and set up base to immediately begin operations.”
The current closure includes the Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Health Sciences at Lake Nona campus and Center for Emerging Media in downtown Orlando, all of which follow main campus closure protocols. UCF regional locations will follow the decisions made by their respective host state college.