JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— “Based on recent forecasts and discussions with local authorities and the National Weather Service, Jacksonville University has decided to cancel classes beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, August 30, to allow everyone adequate time to make necessary preparations.”
This is the first of many emails that students, faculty, and staff received from the JU Emergency Preparedness Team concerning Hurricane Dorian. The team, made of nearly 30 individuals including the Provost and Vice Provost, decided to cancel classes from Sept. 3 through Sept. 6 after monitoring the weather reports constantly.
This meant that the entire second week of classes for the fall semester was canceled.
Dr. Kristie Gover, the Senior Vice President and Dean of Students, explains the several factors the team took into consideration when discussing whether to cancel classes or not.
“First and foremost, we consider the safety of the campus community— students, faculty, staff, and community partners,” she said. “Labor Day weekend, the uncertainty of Hurricane Dorian’s path, and the predicted impact to our area influenced many of our decisions, including class cancellations and campus closures.”
By the time Hurricane Dorian started approaching Florida midday Sept. 3, it was a Category 2 hurricane.
By Thursday, Sept. 5, Jacksonville was in the all-clear and warnings had been lifted from the area.
“With the Friday cancellation of classes, makeup time for one course meeting is required,” read the latest email from the Emergency Preparedness Team. “Students, your professors will address makeup instruction or assignments with you on a class-by-class level.”
The Jacksonville area received characteristics of a tropical storm and that left some students wishing that classes had just stayed in session. Victoria Richardson, a sophomore Marine Biology major, is among these students.
“I liked the mini-break, but now we’re rushing through classes trying to make up work,” she said. “It’s annoying because I feel like I’m not actually learning the material but instead sucking up different information.”
To prevent from falling too far behind, some professors held class online.
Professor Chieu Duong, an assistant professor of mathematics, held her Mathematics of Motion and Change class online twice.
Ameera Jackson, a junior sociology major, is in Duong’s class and appreciated her taking the time to do that.
“At least in my math class, I do not feel rushed with the material,” she said. “I’m actually thankful that she did hold class.”