The Maroon

Letter to the Editor: Reaction to Isaac positive but flawed

TOM GILLIS

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New Orleans is no stranger to hurricanes. Most of the country is aware of this. Isaac, however, was my first experience with a hurricane.

Being from Dallas, I am used to my share of tornadoes and tornado warnings. I know the signs to look for in case of major impending doom: green skies, no birds and a sudden lack of rain.

Hurricanes, on the other hand, I know nothing about. I couldn’t help but panic as I watched everyone in the city go on a race to get all the canned food, bottled water and alcohol they could find. I had no idea what I was in for. My house was tagged with a symbol showing that it had survived Katrina, but even that didn’t leave me with a warm ,fuzzy feeling of safety.

So I weathered Isaac on campus, which in retrospect was probably the best choice I could have made. The school provided food and water and attempted to keep us entertained during the storm.

Loyola’s efforts to care for us were admirable ,and I feel that we should all appreciate the effort on the parts of Sodexo, Physical Plant and Res Life to keep us safe, but I still think that some things could have been handled better. I would like to preface my critique by saying that I am not involved with the administration and cannot completely understand the pressures of being responsible for the lives of 200+ students and that I am extremely grateful for Loyola letting me, a commuter, stay on campus.

I have two main issues with how Isaac was handled. The first is in regards to the parking garage. Students, be they residential or commuters like myself, were not informed quickly enough that they needed to get their parking permits before the storm to be allowed to park in the garage during Isaac. I feel that students should have been allowed to park their cars in the garage simply by showing their IDs.

While I understand that we couldn’t allow everyone in New Orleans to use our parking garage, I feel that all students should have been allowed to use it, not just the ones who were fortunate enough to get their permits ahead of time. There was more than enough space in both the West Road and Freret garages.

My second issue is also connected with my problems with the parking situation. We were allowed outside the dorms for a few minutes at a time in groups of up to seven people to a restricted area, which I can understand and appreciate as a means to make sure that everyone remained safe. But when the storm had significantly died down by day three, I was still not allowed to check on my car in the Mercy Lot. I feel that I should have at least been allowed to check on my car in the company of a chaperone, given I was prohibited from parking in the garage.

For many people in charge, this was their first hurricane as well, so I am not trying to blame anyone, but these improvements might be of value when dealing with any future storm. I would like to reiterate my appreciation for Loyola letting me stay on campus. I cannot express how grateful I am for having a safe place to hunker down during my hurrication.

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Letter to the Editor: Reaction to Isaac positive but flawed