New York University announced Tuesday evening that classes will be canceled through Saturday and students at the school's residence halls in lower Manhattan are being evacuated.
Many of NYU's buildings are without power after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York City during Monday's overnight hours. NYU Langone Medical Center was forced to evacuate the hospital late Monday night, and the storm damage there could put years of research in jeopardy.
NYU president John Sexton cited power outages around NYU buildings and residence halls as reasons to close down academics for the week.
"We did not make this decision lightly, and we understand that significant logistical implications accompany it," Sexton said in an email sent to students Tuesday.
"The electrical outages continue to present significant challenges for us at the Washington Square campus," Sexton said. "We can safely provide food and shelter for our students in facilities that are powered by our Co-Generation facility. However, many of these are the same facilities that we need to carry on the normal rhythms of our academic mission, and the absence of Con Edison power makes it extremely difficult to do both. As a university, we rely heavily on such systems as the Con Edison electrical system and the MTA’s mass transit systems for our daily operations."
Sexton said food service will be provided to all students at Weinstein Residence Hall and Kimmel Center. Another email from senior associate vice president of student affairs Tom Ellet said Kimmel is available 24 hours a day as a charging station for students' electronic devices.
NYU also announced that students at several residence halls -- 2nd Street, 7th Street, 13th Street, Alumni, Broome, Brittany, Carlyle, Coral, Greenwich, Hayden, Lafayette and Rubin -- will need to evacuate for the time-being. If students do not leave Tuesday night, they're required to vacate the residence hall by 3 p.m. Wednesday. As long as the relocation order stands, students will be allowed back into their dorms between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
NYU is making academic buildings available for students who are displaced by residence halls which have lost power.
Other residence halls where students are not required to leave are operating on emergency lighting, and some do not have running water, according to NYU officials. The Student Health Center is open only for limited walk-in hours. Sexton's email also said spring registration for classes may be rescheduled, but no final decision has been made.
According to an email sent out to NYU students from Jules Martin, vice president for global security and crisis management, most residence halls lost power Monday night as the storm barreled down on Manhattan.
NYU has upwards of 45,000 students enrolled. While not all of them live in an NYU dorm, all students are guaranteed a spot to live in university residence halls during their time in college.
Classes at colleges around New York have been canceled as many residents are still without power and the subway system is likely to remain shut down through the week. Power outages have displaced many lower Manhattan residents.
"New Yorkers are always at their best when things seem at their worst," Sexton said, "and once again the citizens of this city and of this university have shown their mettle."