FLORIDA'S VOLUSIA COUNTY - After Bethune Cookman University issued an evacuation order on Sunday in advance of Hurricane Ian, students are returning home on Monday.
After issuing a call to evacuate in advance of the storm, Bethune Cookman will continue to function with remote classes. Image Credit : Captured From Video (Spectrum News 13/Brandon Jones)
Sessions will be canceled on Monday, September 26, and all students will be required to attend asynchronous classes beginning Tuesday. The institution is evacuating as a precautionary measure since strong storms are possible in the vicinity.
"As you are undoubtedly aware, the National Weather Service has forecast that Hurricane Ian will strike the state of Florida with high winds and plenty of rain, perhaps causing damaging flooding," the statement read. "The University has issued a mandatory campus evacuation as a precaution and in the interest of our campus community's safety. As a result, lessons will not be held on Monday, September 26, 2022."
By Monday noon, all students and employees must be off campus.
The institution also stated that academics and staff who have laboratories should modify their teachings to be more adaptable to a digital format. Students were also warned that if they lost power or access to their laptops or other devices, they could still access the internet using their phones.
"We are aware of the technological challenges that some individuals may face, and we ask that everyone collaborate as teachers and learners to keep our eyes on the prize — ensuring that our students continue to engage with course objectives/content and meet performance standards on rubrics and other assessment tools," the statement continued.
Any significant information and updates concerning modifications to the existing evacuation order will be posted on the school's website.
Working to ensure an evacuation goes smoothly
"It's just been hectic," BCU student Tearra Davis stated.
Davis has been on campus for a little more than a month. The first-year student recently graduated from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, and she will now go back to her hometown on Interstate 4 after her college was ordered to evacuate.
"I really simply woke up and went right to packing," she explained.
Davis admits that organizing her possessions was difficult, but she understands the school's choice.
"It's like I'm just getting into a rhythm, experiencing the college life, and suddenly it's like go back home," she explained.
She and the majority of her students spent most of Sunday packing their belongings and leaving college.
She stated that she will spend the next three days with her family and will return once the all-clear is granted.
"You must prioritize your life over anything else. The priority is safety "Davis stated.