The City University of New York is mobilizing students, faculty and staff to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy as the new focal point of the 2012 “November is CUNY Month,” an annual showcase of what the University offers New Yorkers. This broad volunteer effort – dubbed “CUNY Works” – is reaching out to both the approximately 9,000 University members who lived in the flood zone and to the general community.
“Each of the CUNY campuses was affected differently by the storm, and many have already begun extensive outreach efforts to their campus community and to the wider community,” Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said today at the first meeting of CUNY’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Council, which he had convened with representatives from all 24 colleges and professional schools.
“Individual colleges are best able to determine the most urgent post-storm needs and the most effective ways of meeting those needs. Please engage your students, faculty, staff, and alumni in further developing and executing targeted CUNY Works activities and initiatives throughout the remainder of CUNY Month,” the Chancellor said.
Before the hurricane even arrived, CUNY was playing an integral role in relief efforts. It opened 10 campuses as emergency shelters during the storm and its aftermath; several remain in operation.
Campus representatives said their faculty and staff were already offering counseling, housing and financial support, while joining students in fundraising, direct aid to other hurricane victims and more. On Monday, the University e-mailed students a link to a citywide volunteer clearinghouse. CUNY has posted a webpage about where to go for emergency housing, food, financing and other necessities at http://www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/sa/GeneralinfoResources.html. In addition, many colleges have put together similar websites with information about resources.
On Wednesday, the University intends to unveil a webpage at cuny.edu listing experts who can help decision-makers deal with future disasters. Among them are faculty members who are conducting research into issues that Hurricane Sandy brought vividly to public attention, including climate change, infrastructure, crisis management, transportation, utilities, housing, hydrology and ecology.
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as The Free Academy, the University has 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves over 269,000 degree credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. More than 1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month by www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.