Campus Update

Friday, Sept. 15, 11:31 a.m.: Power is now restored at both the Gulfport campus and the Tampa Law Center. It will take us a little while to get back up and running, cool the buildings, and bring up all IT systems (including VPN, file servers and WiFi).  We will be opening campus at noon today for students, staff, and faculty. Except for our facilities staff and public safety staff, we expect to have minimal staff on campus so please be patient.  The Tampa Law Center remains open. As a reminder, all classes and activities at the Gulfport campus and the Tampa campus remain cancelled through Sunday; we will do our best to have everything ready for the resumption of classes on Monday. 

We will reopen our dorms at 2:00 p.m. today.  We are aware that a few of our Stetson-owned houses are still without power — please check with Duke Energy about their expectation for the restoration of service. We did have one complication — a roof in F wing collapsed between F302 and F303 and our staff is cleaning up the debris to ensure safety. There are no structural issues that will impede the opening of campus at noon (dorms at 2:00 p.m.)

As you have read from my updates, our facilities staff and our public safety officers have been simply extraordinary in preparing for Hurricane Irma and ensuring the campus would be ready for your return.  If you see them, please say thank you.

As a reminder, the events for next week if you are interested —

  • Tuesday 9/19 — Breakfast Without Irma.  Everyone (students, faculty, staff) is welcome (Crummer Courtyard from 8:45 – 10:15 a.m.)
  • Tuesday 9/19 — Faculty and staff meeting (update on Irma and its impact on campus; academic calendar for the remainder of the semester; answer questions) (Great Hall at noon)
  • Wednesday 9/20 – Student meeting (update on Irma and its impact on campus; academic calendar for the remainder of the semester; answer questions (Great Hall at noon)
  • Tuesday 9/26 – Faculty meeting rescheduled

 

Thursday, Sept. 14: 6:03 p.m.: The Gulfport campus still does not have power. We have two alternatives that we fully expect will take place tomorrow. Duke Energy fixes power — they have promised by midnight Friday night. If that happens, all is good. Alternatively, we have generators on campus that we have been running intermittently to accomplish three priorities — making sure that our systems are ready for when Duke Energy restores power, keeping freezers and refrigeration for food services at acceptable levels, and keeping as much humidity out of our buildings as possible, especially the library because books don’t like humidity.  

The issue is that generators run on fuel and getting a fuel delivery has been a struggle. We have been promised a fuel delivery tomorrow (Friday) — that will allow us to run our generators more frequently, particularly if we can expect commitments for further fuel deliveries.  That doesn’t make “all is good” but it makes it “all is better.”

I am sure that you have many questions, so here is the plan for when everyone is back on campus on next week. Please stop by if you are interested — 

Tuesday 9/19 — Breakfast Without Irma. Everyone (students, faculty, staff) is welcome
(Crummer Courtyard from 8:45 – 10:15 a.m.)

Tuesday 9/19 — Faculty and staff meeting (update on Irma and its impact on campus; academic calendar for the remainder of the semester; answer questions)
(Great Hall at noon)

Wednesday 9/20 – Student meeting (update on Irma and its impact on campus; academic calendar for the remainder of the semester; answer questions
(Great Hall at noon)

Tuesday 9/26 – Faculty meeting rescheduled

Next update by 3:00 p.m. Friday.

 

Thursday, Sept. 14: 11:24 p.m.: Power has been restored to the Tampa Law Center — it is open and operational. Today, the Tampa Law Center will be open from 11:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Beginning tomorrow, the Tampa Law Center will be open during its normal business hours — 6:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. and seven days a week. There will be limited technical support and our Public Safety Officer will be there during operating hours. The Tampa Law Center also has internet and WiFi, although not the faculty/staff network. To use WiFi on our Tampa campus, please use the Stetson Guest Network.

There is still no power in Gulfport, and no internet or phones.

There are no classes or activities in Tampa or Gulfport through Sunday.  Classes and activities will resume on Monday, September 18 on both the Gulfport campus and the Tampa campus. 

Next update by 6:00 p.m. Thursday.

 

Wednesday, Sept. 13: 5:15 p.m.: Stetson Law still has no power, no internet, and no phone service. We have been making significant progress on campus including the continuation of debris cleanup, removal of downed trees, verification that our chiller plants will be fully operational once power is restored, and testing of our IT infrastructure. The good news is all is good.

Still no timetable on the restoration of power — and we have been talking with Duke Energy continuously since Irma moved north.

Next update by 1:00 p.m. Thursday.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 12: 4:49 p.m.: We understand that Duke Energy, our service provider in St. Petersburg and Gulfport, continues to work on emergency services including police and fire departments, emergency operations centers, hospitals and nursing homes. At this point, they have not yet provided an estimated time for restoration of power, although we hear that they have committed to providing an estimated time for restoration in more detail later tonight.

As I mentioned in prior updates, we cannot resume classes and cannot open campus until power is restored. As a result, all classes and activities are cancelled through Sunday, Sept. 18 including weekend classes scheduled for this weekend. We are very confident that classes will resume on Monday, Sept. 18 and ask our faculty, staff and students to plan for a full resumption of operations on Monday.

We are currently working through the logistics for our academic schedule and expect to provide an update to our community as soon as possible. We certainly expect to provide an update to our community as soon as possible. We certainly expect to utilize the two hurricane days currently built into our academic calendar-Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Nov. 22.

At this time, power and Internet has still not been restored to campus and, as a result, we cannot yet open our campus or our dorms. We will continue to have our emergency facilities staff and public safety officers on campus but ask that our faculty, staff, and students not return until we let you know. If you need to reach our Public Safety Office, the temporary emergency phone number is 727-420-3611.

We are planning a welcome back “Breakfast Without Irma” (and yes, there will be coffee) for all students, faculty and staff on Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 8:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m. in the Crummer Courtyard-please stop by to share your Irma stories.

Next update at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

 

Tuesday, Sept. 12: 12:04 p.m.: Both our Gulfport and Tampa campuses are without power and without Internet capabilities with no timetable about when power will be restored. We have learned that there are over 300 intersections in Pinellas County with traffic lights that are not operational and more than 200 deputies are helping with traffic control.

It is difficult to determine the number of power outages but we believe over 600,000 in Pinellas County and over 1.3 million that Duke Energy services (including Stetson). We know that their priority is hospitals and other emergency services. Our emergency team has been on campus all morning clearing debris and checking offices. All looks very good and we look like a campus again.

We cannot ask our faculty, staff, and students to return safely without power. We also understand that many in our Stetson community have evacuated to other parts of Florida and beyond. Providing our community with enough time to return safely is a priority.

Today by 5 p.m., we will make a decision about whether to resume classes on Thursday and Friday of this week.

 

Monday, Sept. 11: 3:22 p.m.: After walking the grounds of campus in Gulfport, our campus fared much better than expected from Hurricane Irma. The very good news is that we had a few trees down and there does not appear to be any structural damage or water intrusion. There is no power (or Internet) on campus in either Gulfport or Tampa and we do not yet have an estimate from Duke Energy when our power will be restored.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, our emergency personnel will be back on campus to clear debris and ensure the safety of our campuses. While we are in very good shape, please do not yet return to campus. We will remain closed through Wednesday and expect to make an assessment for the opening of campus and the resumption of classes as soon as possible.

If you live in the Rosa Apartments, there appears to be no damage and there is power (at least for now). Some of our houses have power and some do not. If you have evacuated the area, please check with Duke Energy before returning. Finally, our dorms remain closed until at least Thursday morning. Should circumstances change, we will let you know as soon as possible.

We will provide another update by 8 p.m. tonight.

Finally, we hope Hurricane Irma has not disrupted your lives dramatically but we know that for some it has been devastating. Stetson is a strong community and we will care for each other. As the hours and days pass, we will do all that we can to help.

With our best wishes to you and your families.

 

Sunday, Sept. 10: 11:45 a.m.: In light of the severe impact that Hurricane Irma will have on the Tampa Bay area and the difficulties of many that will be trying to return to our area, all classes and activities at the College of Law (Gulfport and Tampa) are cancelled at least through Wednesday, Sept. 13.  After the storm passes, we will be back in touch with further updates.

Be safe — our thoughts and prayers are with you — and your families.

 

Friday, Sept. 8: 12:08 p.m.: Based on the track of Hurricane Irma, the likely impact of the storm on the Tampa Bay area on Sunday and Monday, and the mandatory and voluntary evacuations in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, all classes and activities at the College of Law (Gulfport and Tampa) are cancelled on Monday.  We will continue to monitor the storm and its impact on our campuses and will update you as the weekend progresses about when we will expect to resume classes and open our campuses.  As a reminder, the cancellation of classes on Monday also means you are not expected to attend local off-campus externships and clinics.

As you prepare for the storm, please know that there are a number of shelter locations published by Pinellas County including two shelters in Gulfport, Boca Ciega High School and Gulfport Elementary School, as well as a number in St. Petersburg including shelters that welcome pets. The Stetson University College of Law is not designated as a shelter for individuals or pets.

Pinellas County Public Shelter List: http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/shelters.htm

If you have not done so, I encourage you to download the Ready Pinellas App and register for text messages from the College of Law through My Stetson.

We will be communicating with you by text message, email, and the Stetson College of Law home page.  Should you have any additional questions, please contact our Office of Public Safety at 727-343-1262 or psdadmin@law.stetson.edu.

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus when we are safely able to do so.
Our thoughts are with you — and your families.

Wednesday, Sept. 6: 3:43 p.m.: After consulting with state and local officials, all classes and activities at the College of Law (Gulfport and Tampa) are cancelled on Thursday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 10 including the weekend classes. The current College of Law policy includes local off-campus externships and clinics in a cancellation of classes.  As a result, students are not expected to attend their externships or clinics.  Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally in terms of communicating with supervisors and professors so that  assignments are completed and hours fulfilled.

We will provide an update about classes on Monday when we have a better indication of the path of Hurricane Irma and will do our best to provide as much notice as possible.

The Gulfport and Tampa campuses will be closed beginning on Thursday at noon and will remain closed through Sunday.  

Importantly, safety remains our highest priority.  In the event that conditions create individual difficulties for our non-emergency staff on Thursday, staff should please work with their supervisors and our Office of Human Resources.  Because of anticipated power outages and emergency procedures, dorm students should be prepared to evacuate — our Student Affairs/International Programs staff will be reaching out to students soon.

As you prepare for the storm, please know that there are a number of shelter locations published by Pinellas County including two shelters in Gulfport, Boca Ciega High School and Gulfport Elementary School as well as a number in St. Petersburg including shelters that welcome pets.  The Stetson University College of Law is not designated as a shelter for individuals or pets.

http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/shelters.htm

If you have not done so, I encourage you to download the Ready Pinellas App and register for text messages from the College of Law through My Stetson.

We will be communicating with you by text message, email, and the Stetson College of Law home page.  Should you have any additional questions, please contact our Office of Public Safety at 727-343-1262 or psdadmin@law.stetson.edu.

 

 

Wednesday, Sept. 6: 11:57 a.m.: We continue to monitor Hurricane Irma, along with state and local officials. There have been a number of developments since yesterday. The hurricane cone provides a likely path of the storm and the path or cone is more narrow or predictable the closer to the eye of the storm. Because of the eye of the storm will likely move onshore on Sunday, the current cone with potential impact to Florida is remains large.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145752.shtml?gm_track

While the cone encompasses all of Florida, many of the spaghetti models that predict the actual storm track have shifted further east — this is good for the Tampa Bay area.

http://www.wtsp.com/weather/spaghetti-tracks-east

There will be further updates by the National Hurricane Center and the Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center this afternoon.  With that information, we will make a decision about classes and campus closure for Thursday and Friday no later than 5:30 p.m. today.

Importantly, safety remains our highest priority.  In the event that weather conditions create individual difficulties for students, please work with your professor and Dean Rozelle.  At this time, our class attendance policies continue to apply.  In the event that the weather conditions create individual difficulties for employees, please work with your supervisor and our Office of Human Resources.

As you prepare for the storm, please know that there are a number of shelter locations published by Pinellas County including two shelters in Gulfport, Boca Ciega High School and Gulfport Elementary School as well as a number in St. Petersburg including shelters that welcome pets.  The Stetson University College of Law is not designated as a shelter for individuals or pets.

http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/shelters.htm

If you have not done so, I encourage you to download the Ready Pinellas App.

Finally, thank you for registering and updating your emergency contact information on the My Stetson page — our test yesterday was very successful.  Should you have any additional questions, please contact our Office of Public Safety at 727-343-1262 or psdadmin@law.stetson.edu.  We plan to post another update this afternoon.

Tuesday, Sept. 5: 11:28 a.m.:  At present, we are actively monitoring Hurricane Irma, a very strong Category 5 hurricane, and will continue to do so, recognizing that movements of hurricanes are very difficult to predict.  In the next day or so, we will have a better idea of the path of the storm. At that time, we will be in a position to make a decision about class cancellation and law school closure.  We expect to make a decision as soon as possible to provide our students, faculty, and staff with the necessary time to make individual decisions about preparation for the storm and/or evacuation.  At present, it appears that any effect in the Tampa Bay area would principally take place this weekend — we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate.  Any changes to the College of Law schedule will be noted on the school’s website in addition to email and text communications.

You can find current information about Irma’s predicted path at the National Hurricane Center and we urge you to monitor developments over the next few days.  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?cone.

Now would be an excellent time to ensure that you are prepared.  You can find information about hurricane preparedness at this link on the College of Law’s website:  http://www.stetson.edu/law/communications/preparedness/home/index.php and also on the Pinellas County Emergency Management website — http://www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/.

In the event that there are significant issues with a storm, communication becomes increasingly important.  Text messages will serve as a primary source of information and can be more reliable method of communication. The College of Law created an emergency text system.  Please register now.  Registration information is below from our Public Safety Office — 

As the storm develops we will communicate with you in a variety of ways, the most important method being the Stetson Hatter Alert Emergency Notification System. This Emergency Notification System is used to keep individuals informed during emergency situations as it pertains to Stetson University and the various campuses.  When a situation requires immediate attention, recipients will receive a phone call, a text message, and an email. If you have not registered to receive emergency notifications from Stetson, we strongly urge you to do so now. 

In addition to the Emergency Notification System, the following means of communication may also be used:

  • Onsite Indoor-Outdoor Emergency Notification Speakers
  • Website via our Campus Docket announcements, which is available to the Stetson community and general public
  • Messages on class cancellation hot line (727-562-7816)

To register or update your enrollment in the Stetson Hatter Alert Emergency Notification System, a link can be found in myStetson within the Personal tab.  You will be prompted to enter your contact information.

Here, you can provide a phone number and a number to receive texts (they can be the same). Please ensure that, when enrolling in SMS/Text alerts, a cell phone number is used.  Your Stetson email will automatically be linked to this system (please note that registration or updates take one hour to sync with the Emergency Notification System).

We expect to run a test of the Emergency Text System at 4 p.m. today (Tuesday, Sept. 5) — you should receive a text message if you are registered.

If you have any questions or do not receive a text message and you have registered, please contact our Office of Public Safety at psdadmin@law.stetson.edu or 727-343-1262 .

We will provide further updates as necessary.