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Riley Convenes Hearing on Sandy’s Impact on New Jersey Colleges and Universities

Assemblywoman Vows to Help NJ Schools Recover & Better Prepare for Future Storms

Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Celeste Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) convened a special hearing on Thursday to take testimony on how Superstorm Sandy impacted New Jersey’s Higher Education community.

“To a great extent, our colleges and universities were the forgotten story during this historic storm. Given our geography, schools throughout the state were affected in many different ways, some more severely than others.

“What became clear today is that our schools stepped up to the plate and did an outstanding job of not only looking out for the safety of their students, but in stepping up to help meet the needs of their surrounding communities.

“Monmouth University, for example, played a tremendous role by opening its doors to residents in our hardest hit shore communities and serving as an evacuation center for 11 days. Meanwhile, Rutgers did its best to accommodate students while contending with prolonged power outages and water system problems.

“It was informative today to hear how each school has handled their unique issues and what we can do to help them become better equipped to handle similar situations in the future. I look forward to reading the post-Sandy task force report Rutgers is working on, which will hopefully be helpful in assisting us with any future policy changes that might be needed.

“We are committed to working together to assist our schools and make them whole again,” said Riley.