Should I stay or should I go ?
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 11:09
When she first got word that Hurricane Isaac was headed straight for New Orleans, psychology junior Emily Crochet was planning on staying at her off-campus house on Calhoun St.
However, when she arrived on campus for the first day of classes on Monday, she had a change of heart.
“I’ve been through plenty of hurricanes though, so I wasn’t that worried about it. Everyone was freaking out when I got to campus though, so I just decided to go back home,” Crochet said.
When word hit Loyola’s campus that Hurricane Isaac was headed straight for New Orleans, students like Crochet had to make a choice: Should I stay or should I go?
Though many students decided to ride out the storm in Loyola’s residence halls, a large number of students chose to relocate to their parents’ houses in the area or to evacuate the city altogether while many other students braved out the storm at their off-campus houses around the city.
Like many in-state students, Crochet decided to spend the storm at her parents’ house in Slidell, bringing a few of her out-of-state friends with her. According to Crochet, the positives outweighed the negatives when making the decision to return to Slidell.
“It was kind of just a comfort thing. I would rather have been at home instead of my tiny house on Calhoun. We were going to lose power no matter where we were, but we have a generator at my house in Slidell,” Crochet said.
For her and many in-state students, it came down to comfort when deciding to stay or go.
“I’m sure we would have been safe in New Orleans, but it just wouldn’t have been as comfortable,” Crochet said.
For out-of-state students, many of whom had never experienced a hurricane firsthand, the decision to stay or go became a bit more complicated.
For New Jersey native and psychology junior Sarah Scalese, Isaac was her first hurricane experience.
Unfortunately for Scalese, her decision to evacuate to Laplace, Louisiana with a friend turned out to be far from ideal. Scalese spent almost the entirety of the storm without running water and faced severe flooding in the neighborhood she was staying in throughout the storm.
“The worst is that I didn’t see it coming at all,” Scalese said. “I was kind of mad that I couldn’t stay and hang out with my friends who stayed in New Orleans, but I’m happy that I left because at least I had power.”
Evacuating did turn out to be a unique experience for this first time hurricationer. “I’m glad that I got to see the storm because I’d never actually been through a hurricane. But I never want to do it again,” Scalese said.
For students who stayed in the residence halls for the storm, trust in the university played a major part in their decision to remain on campus.
“I trusted the university,” said Sean Rose, vocal performance sophomore. “They said that they were monitoring it very closely, and when they said that they were going to allow residents to stay on campus I was pretty comfortable with Loyola’s decision. Plus, they ended up handling everything really well.”
Like many Loyola students living on campus who had their first major hurricane experience during Isaac, Rose saw a unique opportunity in the situation.
“I could’ve just as well evacuated to my house in Little Rock and technically I would have been safer and had electricity and air conditioning,” said Rose, “But this was really an interesting opportunity and it was cool because it kind of required all the residents that stayed on campus to have very conscientious attitudes toward the community that they were roughing the storm out with, so it was cool. I liked it.”
In the end, Hurricane Isaac brought students together and taught them something, no matter where they ended up hunkering down.
“Sometimes you have moments that challenge you and you learn to overcome things and kind of help each other out,” Rose said.
For Loyola students, the hurrication or evacuation of Hurricane Isaac was one of those moments.
Shannon Donaldson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org