Hurricane temporarily shifts some classes online, cancels sessions for others



Flooding and power outages in many Yale buildings have forced some professors to move classes online or cancel Thursday class meetings.


James Richardson, collaborating photographer

At the start of fall term classes, most Yalies looked forward to face-to-face classes after 18 months without them. But the remnants of Hurricane Ida struck New Haven on Wednesday night, cutting power, flooding campus buildings and canceling the second day of live learning for many Yalies.

The Dean’s Office at Yale College has reported that more than 30 Yale buildings located between Prospect Avenue and Whitney Avenue and between Grove Street and Sachem Street have lost their power. These included the 14 residential colleges and several university buildings.

Professors teaching in darkened classrooms could choose between moving their teaching to Zoom, moving to a building with electricity, or postponing to a later date once power was restored. By Thursday afternoon, power had returned to all buildings on campus except Dow Hall, Dunham Laboratory, Tsai City and Warner House.

“I went back to the Zoom techniques I learned after a year and a half of Zoom U: Yale Edition and did my best to make it work,” said Erik Harms, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology. “The wonderful students in the class were so forgiving and took it without hesitation, but the situation was like a scene from a bad movie, where everything goes wrong no matter how hard and sincere people work to bring them back. things to normal. “

Harms only had 15 minutes to revamp his class for the virtual platform, but he joked that starting a class on Southeast Asia amid a flood and blackout was appropriate as the region is used to surviving such disasters.

For the classes that have yet to take place, Yale College Dean Marvin Chun, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Lynn Cooley, and Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Tamar Gendler urged faculty to stay tuned. suit students whose ability to prepare for and get to class has been hampered by the storm.

In an email sent to the Yale community, Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd urged students to take advantage of the Bass Library, Sterling Memorial Library, and all the empty classrooms if their residences had suffered. flooding, power outages, or other conditions that may interfere with learning.

“Over the past year and a half we’ve learned to expect uncertainty and challenges and go with the flow,” BJ Casey, professor in the psychology department, wrote in an email to News. “Having said that, I really missed the wonderful in-person interactions with our amazing students, so now I’m even more excited to see them all.”

Casey moved his Dunham Laboratory lecture to Zoom both because of the power outage and because the storm prevented New York resident Casey from reaching her classroom in New Haven.

Lauren Potter ’22 also had to adjust to a sudden change of plans. She had planned to take a class at Watson Center today, but 20 minutes before class started, Potter found out that the professor was canceling the session.

Although she missed Thursday’s lecture, Potter said she wasn’t worried the storm would interrupt her return to campus after a year of distance study.

“I’m happy to be back on campus and to be able to see my friends, and I know the power outages are only temporary,” said Potter, whose off-campus accommodation kept power during the hurricane. .

In addition to lecture halls and residential colleges, Hurricane Ida also closed several Yale mess halls and two COVID-19 testing sites for part or all of Thursday.

Hurricane Ida killed 23 New Jersey residents, 15 New Yorkers and one person living in Connecticut when it reached the northeast on Wednesday.


Jordan Fitzgerald is a journalist working on gender equality and diversity. She is a second year student at Trumbull College majoring in American History.


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