This article was published August 26, 2011 at 2:20 p.m.
UPDATE: Read about Hurricane Irene’s toll on the Penn area
The University is taking precautionary measures as Hurricane Irene approaches the Philadelphia area.
Early move-in for Penn students has been postponed from Sunday, Aug. 28, to Monday, Aug. 29, according to a University press release. However, Penn will make efforts to accommodate those who need to move in Sunday.
“We’re really trying to protect the safety of students,” Business Services spokeswoman Barbara Lea-Kruger said. “The people that were scheduled to move in are getting e-communications giving them contact info if they have questions.”
All pre-orientation programs — many of which were originally scheduled to begin Sunday evening — have been postponed until 3 p.m. Monday.
Leaders of the programs and representatives from the Office of Student Affairs met to discuss plans Friday morning. According to College junior Lisa Doi, student director of PennCorps, all pre-orientation program participants have been contacted via email and will receive phone calls from their program directors.
Prior to storm delays, pre-orientation program PennGreen was planning to have a welcome barbeque Sunday evening and a tour of Morris Arboretum Monday morning, program leader and College junior Parker Vanderslice-Lamas said. PennGreen is attempting to postpone the events and is encouraging students to come on Monday instead.
“Monday will be the starting day, and on a case-by-case basis, we are working with the participants in regards to their arrival,” Office of Student Affairs Executive Director Karu Kozuma said. Despite postponed programs, he added, “we hope to still provide an enriching experience through the pre-orientation programs.”
About 300 freshmen are expected to participate in pre-orientation programs this year.
Last year, over 1,000 students moved in on the first day of early move-in, Sunday, Aug. 29, according to the Business Services website.
In preparation for the hurricane, the Division of Public Safety has partnered with Facilities and Real Estate Services, Business Services and College House and Academic Services as a “united front,” Vice President of the Division of Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
“What we’re doing for this emergency is not new, but for a different reason,” she added, as similar preparations are made during snow storms.
She explained that facilities is working to ensure that storm drains are working and construction sites are cleared of debris, and is “doing a complete inventory of every site on campus.” In addition, DPS has activated its emergency operation center, which serves as the “command post for the whole university” and will work closely with Philadelphia’s emergency operation center.
While there is no official evacuation order, the city encouraged residents to evacuate danger-prone areas.
“This is a dangerous storm, and I want to urge our residents to exercise extreme caution,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement.
Unnati Dass, Sarah Gadsden, Victor Gamez, Prameet Kumar and Anjali Tsui contributed reporting to this article.
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