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Hurricane Ian update: Rollins Impact

Photo taken anonymously

At 9:40 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, the Rollins Public Information Team sent an email to the Rollins Community announcing the shift of Fall Break from Oct. 10-11 to Oct. 3-4. This announcement was met with discourse, prompting a shift in action and a reinstatement of the Oct. 10-11 Fall Break.

“We appreciate the feedback we have received concerning the College message sent yesterday evening,” wrote Provost Susan Singer in an email sent to the Rollins community Saturday night. “We regret any consternation it caused and have been doing our best to develop a plan that delivers on our educational mission with integrity, and as required by our accreditors, while at the same time respecting the flexibility that is required during this extraordinary time.” 

Between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11, faculty have been instructed to assign classwork that students can complete at any time; faculty will reach out to students to communicate their respective instructional plans.

From Wednesday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Oct. 7, faculty may choose to offer virtual classes (at the same time as regularly scheduled classes). Some professors, however, have notified students that they are planning on holding virtual class for the entire week, recording lessons for anyone who is not able to attend. 

Fully in-person instruction will resume on Wednesday, Oct. 12. As such, the college has assured that fall break plans do not need to be adjusted. 

According to the Center for Campus Involvement Team, all student organization sponsored events, meetings, and programs scheduled between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11 have been canceled. Organizations who would like to hold a program or meeting during this time can email the Involvement Team to coordinate their event.

As announced in an email sent to the Rollins community on Oct. 2 by Public Information Officer Jen Atwell, campus reopened at 5 p.m. on Oct. 2. At that time, residence halls and limited dining options reopened for students. 

Photo taken anonymously

“We are thankful many of you are recovering from the storm, and we are aware that many in our community are still without power or are taking care of family members or damaged homes,” said Atwell.

According to the RLE Team in a follow-up email sent Oct. 2, all halls and rooms have been inspected and deemed safe. If students notice any damage in their rooms, they are advised to submit a maintenance request. 

“We recognize that returning to campus is the best option for many students and will work to support those students as best we can and to the extent possible with the staff we have available,” said the RLE Team. 

For students, Hurricane Ian has marked another incident in a series of disruptions to their higher education experience which has been largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic. For students who have been attending Rollins since the fall of 2019, this marks their second hurricane evacuation from campus. 

“I am filled with empathy and lament that your college experience has been so disrupted,” said President Grant Cornwell in a statement to The Sandspur. “The fall semester was off to a great start and I appreciated the positive energy and enthusiasm I felt from all quarters. When we resume our semester, I hope everyone pick up where they left off and recommit to their studies and campus involvements.”

“I would like to express my respect and gratitude to all who worked so hard to secure the safety of our students, faculty, staff and campus. The Rollins team put in enormous effort, above and beyond their normal duties, to prepare for this storm and we all owe them our heartfelt thanks,” said President Cornwell.

Students impacted by the hurricane can contact Student and Family Care at 407-646-2345 or email for assistance. For mental health support students can contact the Wellness Center at 407-628-6340 or make an appointment online.


Important Dates (CLA / Holt)

This week: 

Oct. 2, 4:00 pm — Emergency Town Hall held 

Oct. 2, 5:00 pm — Campus reopened (residence halls, limited dining)  

Oct. 3-4 — No classes scheduled 

Oct. 5-7 — Faculty may hold classes virtually during regular meeting times 

Next week: 

Oct. 10-11 — No classes scheduled 

Oct. 12 — Fully in-person classes resume

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