B-CU Student Affairs Ensures a Warming Return for Students Following Hurricane Irma
by: Dan Ryan
Senior Writer/ Staff Historian
When the power came back on, Dean of Students Bonisha Porter’s work began in full.
Porter and her Student Housing team assessed every building on campus as Bethune-Cookman prepared for a return to normalcy on Wednesday, September 20th.
“Every single room was looked at thoroughly,” Porter said. “We have evaluated safety and air quality. We are making make sure we are providing a safe place."
With an evacuated campus, one would think Porter and her staff would have little to do. Nope. There was a student body she had to take care of. All seven of them.
The reamaining student “population” was transported to an official shelter at nearby Mainland High School during the storm and were brought back to the campus once it has passed.
Every effort to ensure a semblance of normalcy has been thought of, including trips to the mall and laundry.
Entertainment was another story.
“Friday before the storm came, we asked if they wanted to watch a movie,” Porter said. “The decision? Ironically, it was `Get out.’ It’s been a running joke with the EOC since.
“We did everything we could to make sure those students were part of the solution and not part of the problem,” Porter said.
Students returned to their home away from home on Tuesday, September 19th and Interim President Hubert Grimes addressed a positive return during Chapel that Wednesday.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.