Glassboro – The Rowan University campus experienced a dramatic yet rewarding experience as Hurricane Irene threatened the lives of residents from south jersey. The campus was designed as a Red Cross emergency shelter site and was used to hold evacuees from the nearby area.
A number of volunteers came together at Rowan University to help residents in need. Guests were being kept in Esby and the nearby university Recreation Center. Inside Esby, guests walked around and to one side of the gymnasium there were rows of green cots. Occupying those cots were guests who were teens, elderly, blind, handicapped, and young adults. Some guests sat and just waited, while others were constantly on their phones and others were simply dazed or exhausted.
The guests were provided with free food, free shelter, free service and even free transportation to the campus.
“Our institution came together for a great cause in which we helped house over 1200 members of the south jersey community” Harris said. Mike Harris, Rowan’s vice president of Facilities and Operations.
The Rowan campus was welcoming to these guests and provided them with an opportunity to feel safe while they waited out the storm.
Members of the office of Residential Learning and University Housing served an important role by staying on campus and helping out the Red Cross in accepting and accommodating the guests. The resident assistants were giving out food and beverages in an efficient way.
“It was a truly moving experience” he said. Bill Russell, Townhouse Resident Assistant at Rowan.
“Seeing everyone in the community united to ensure the safety of others was inspiring and I am honored to have been there” Russell said.
The University was a big support for everyone who participated in this evacuation and they are very proud of their efforts. Volunteers and the Red Cross helped out in every way possible and the outcome was incredible.