Connecting Campuses in Crisis

November 8, 2012

How Two Schools Utilized OrgSync After Superstorm Sandy

Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, and NYU School of Medicine in New York, NY, were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last week. Without power, and while trying to recover and rebuild, administrators turned to OrgSync to help reach students, promote volunteer opportunities, and manage their student populations without all their normal resources.

“When we lost power on Monday night, we had no idea that our power outage would last for most of campus until Saturday afternoon,” said Holly Nelson, Assistant Director of Student Life at Stevens Institute of Technology. “However, we were lucky that our Emergency Management Team was located in a room with a backup generator and a mobile hot spot and that one academic building still

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had power and students were receiving intermittent cell phone signal.”

With help from their Client Services representative, Holly created a “Stevens Storm Programming” portal and added all students. They used this portal to provide a sense of normalcy after the storm. While students were without power and classes were cancelled, the Office of Student Life created student programming for the week. The portal provided a way to communicate with students, who were still able to charge their mobile devices. The Office of Student Life engaged students by offering events like yoga, volunteer opportunities, and art projects. Student Life hosted more than 20 events during the week, with a strong turnout at each event.

Joe Oppedisano, Director of Student Affairs at NYU School of Medicine, said, “When our network was temporarily inaccessible, I was able to export all the students and their contact information into Excel from home and send that out to administration in the absence of other databases.” With the power out and the main campus databases down, that contact information was an invaluable resource to reach students.

NYU School of Medicine also created a volunteer form for students interested in helping during and after the storm.

Through OrgSync, Stevens Institute of Technology and NYU School of Medicine were able to react quickly to changing conditions, and to keep students informed and connected.

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