In the final days of October, Superstorm Sandy captured the country’s attention. The much-anticipated weather wreaked havoc on the Northeastern states, destroying homes, businesses and completely decimating the routines of countless Americans.
As the afflicted areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut begin to rebuild and regain normalcy in the wake of destruction, numerous New Paltz residents and students alike have stepped forward to lend a hand to those in need by organizing relief and fundraising efforts with speed and efficiency.
We at The New Paltz Oracle commend the administration for their work during the storm. It is clear that after Tropical Storm Irene, the campus reassessed its approach to inclement weather to ensure the safety and peace of mind of the student body.
Not only did administration and staff ensure that New Paltz students were informed and equipped with necessary supplies, but precautions were taken to deviate water from the path of buildings to avoid flooding. It is clear that the safety of our campus community is a high priority.
Even when the clouds parted, the community was there waiting to assist loved ones and strangers caught in the Superstorm’s crossfire: information was quickly distributed about blood drives, food banks and housing arrangements were made for students who live in storm-damaged areas.
We are proud of the compassion and proactivity demonstrated by the members of our community, on and off campus.
The Student Association (SA) E-board augmented their previously scheduled election night program to raise funds for relief organizations like Red Cross and Graybeards.com.
The artistic community has also lent its voices to the cause, not only by organizing benefit concerts to collect money and canned goods, but also by raising awareness of the climate change said to be causing the increase in storms.
The New Paltz Town Hall played host to a relief collection and distribution site, providing a base for the community to send a variety of necessary items for damaged communities.
Countless other students and organizations answered the call-to-action by putting out additional fundraising boxes at their events and donating their time and energy to the cause.
As hokey as it sounds: compassion is a great motivator. The work of our community is no trivial matter, proving just how powerful we can be when united with a common goal.
However, we believe our work is far from done.
As long as there are people in our country without food, water or shelter, we need to maintain the same fervor and energy in providing assistance. The road to a fully recovered Northeast will not be traveled quickly or without constant and conscious efforts from those fortunate enough to be in the position to help.
It’s easy to lose sight of the realities of natural disasters and to forget that lives have been lost, broken and irrevocably changed in the aftermath of the storm. We encourage the New Paltz community to continue to raise awareness, contribute where and when they can and to take action — even when the Sandy victims cease to make the headlines.