Wednesday, 31 October 2012 • On-Campus • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick
When tropical storm Sandy struck the seminary campus Monday evening, lights flickered and then quickly faded altogether as wind and water took down power lines and caused electrical substations to blow up like Roman candles. Now, the Seminary is expected to be without power for 7–10 days, and effective today through Monday, November 5th, administrators are calling for suspension of classes, cancellation of chapel services, and a shutdown of the campus, including SVS Press and Bookstore customer service. Also cancelled are two events scheduled for this week: a Board of Trustees meeting and the annual basketball rivalry between St. Vladimir’s and its sister seminary, St. Tikhon’s in South Canaan, PA.
“We’re asking campus residents to treat this period of time as a sort of ‘semester break,’ and we’re encouraging them to leave campus if they wish, to stay with family and friends,” said The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor and CEO, who met with top administrators this morning. Today, at 3 p.m., Fr. Hatfield will meet with all campus residents to discuss further the plan forward.
Seminary administrators will re-evaluate the situation at a meeting scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd, and if power is restored by Monday, November 5th, classes will be held, stated Fr. Hatfield.
Although the campus suffered only minor damage—two downed trees on the property—residents are without electricity and heat, and therefore are without essential services (like refrigeration and, in some cases, working stoves) and important needs (like Internet and phone service). Public water service has not been disrupted. Residents still remaining on campus have scheduled a community meal for Thursday, November 1st at 1 p.m., in order to use and share rapidly defrosting and perishing food sources.