Hammond, LA – Officials are urging Southeastern students to leave campus in reaction to Tropical Storm Isaac looming in the Gulf of Mexico. Students living on campus will be required to take shelter in the University Center during the storm if they do not leave. Southeastern officials are unsure of how long students will have to remain in the University Center once the storm hits.
Senior social work major Brittney Puyau said that she plans to evacuate Hammond and return to New Orleans to be with her family.
Puyau said, “My mom really wants me to go home. We are not evacuating out of New Orleans because it will be too much of a hassle with traffic, and our whole family is staying.”
Puyau currently resides in Southeastern Oaks on North Campus.
Resident assistants for all residence halls on campus are enacting room checks to make sure that students have evacuated and have left the rooms in proper condition in preparation of the storm.
Melissa Rumfola, a resident of Zachary Taylor Hall, has evacuated to Baton Rouge to stay with her
parents during the storm.
Rumfola said, “I left because I wanted to be with my family if anything happened.”
Some students plan to remain on or near campus during the storm. Several students who are living on campus may not have an evacuation plan or somewhere close enough to evacuate quickly.
Senior Tamara Soublet’s original plan was to stay in Hammond with a friend, but her parents have requested that she evacuate to Houston to stay with family, where they will be out of harm’s way.
Soublet said, “We’re going to stay with my cousin Joy. We’re from New Orleans, and it just isn’t safe to go back right now. We can’t put ourselves through that kind of danger.”
Soublet is currently a resident in Southeastern Oaks.
Campus officials will be on duty to ensure that students staying in the University Center will be safe during tropical storm Isaac, but have urged students to evacuate Southeastern’s campus if possible.
Brandy Monnin, a senior psychology major and resident in Southeastern Oaks, has plans to evacuate to Picayune, Miss. Tuesday to be with her family during the storm.
Monnin said, “I want to be somewhere more stable with my family. I don’t want to get stuck on campus or in Hammond and not be able to leave after the storm hits.”
Monnin’s boyfriend, Jimmy Mulherin, plans to follow her to Picayune to avoid the worst part of the storm.
Mulherin said, “I’m leaving because I don’t want to sleep on the floor of the University center. I need to make sure that we are somewhere safe with people we trust. I was going to go to Baton Rouge, but I felt like Picayune would be a safer place to wait out the storm.”
All classes, activities and events on campus are canceled until Wednesday due to tropical storm Isaac. All students and visitors are advised to remain off of campus until Thursday when campus is expected to re-open for classes.