/stories/2019/09/post-storm-support-for-students
Post-storm support for students

Post-storm support for students

By Mike Piacentino

Post-storm support for students

By Mike Piacentino
Even though UM wasn’t directly hit by Hurricane Dorian, Student Affairs is ready to support students with a variety of services and resources

Even though Coral Gables was spared from a direct hit by Hurricane Dorian, the Division of Student Affairs recognizes that the University of Miami community – particularly students – will need some time to re-focus their attention back to collegiate life in the coming days. Student Affairs wants to remind students to be proactive in seeking out campus services and to check in on their fellow ’Canes.

"This next week is the time for students to re-assess their plan for the semester," says Dr. Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “Even though UM wasn’t directly hit by the storm, our students will have a wide range of reactions so we are here to support them.”

First and foremost, students are encouraged to proactively reach out to their professors to inform them of any extenuating circumstances that may negatively impact their academics as soon as possible. The Dean of Students Office and the University Ombudsperson are also available to assist students facing challenges on campus. Students who are originally from the islands that were impacted by storm should refer to an email sent to them by the Division of Student Affairs earlier this week. Students are encouraged to reach out to a friend, mentor, or visit the Counseling Center if they feel overwhelmed or are facing emotional distress.

"Situations like this storm embody our 'Canes Care for 'Canes philosophy in Student Affairs,” Whitely said. "This is the time to work together and to care for one another as our Coral Gables campus resumes normal operations this week."

In addition to taking advantage of various campus resources, a wide variety of peer mentors are available to students. Resident Assistants, Commuter Assistants and Transfer Assistants can direct students to the right campus resource to help them stay on track for the remainder of the semester. First Year Fellows and experienced classmates can help students with maintaining their academic momentum and staying on track with their studies. Additionally, peer educators from the Counseling Center, Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, and the Student Health Service are available to provide a range of outreach programs to students and student groups.

“I encourage everyone to give yourself and others some grace this week,” Whitely added. “Again, we didn’t receive a direct impact from the storm but that doesn’t mean all of our lives haven’t been impacted in some way this past week. Reach out for help if you need it and be there to offer support to others when you can.”

Various student groups will be working with the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development to organize relief efforts to provide much-needed assistance to the Bahamas. Students, faculty and staff can expect to receive specific details about how to support these causes in the coming days.

“UM was lucky this time. So now we must turn our attention to help those in need,” Whitely added.