The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

April 17, 2006

University Cleans Up, Helps Students After Storm

The University of Iowa is demolishing its motor pool headquarters because of damage sustained during last week's storms, but has closed its emergency shelter and service center for lack of need.

The shelter had been set up in the Iowa Memorial Union by the university and the American Red Cross to help students displaced by the storms. But Belinda Marner, associate dean of students, said the shelter was empty Sunday night after accommodating only two people Saturday night. She said students who need assistance may contact the Red Cross at 319-337-2119, or visit its Iowa City office at 373 E. College St.

Students needing assistance can also contact the University of Iowa Student Government, which is providing care packages to those in need. A wide array of clothing and toiletries, as well as water, is available in the UISG office in the Iowa Memorial Union.

University Provost Michael Hogan has also given students who have been affected by the storm several options in continuing their academic pursuits. However, a statement issued Friday may have inadvertently given the impression that students can unilaterally decide to take an incomplete or their current grade and not return for the semester. Hogan said the student and the university may decide together this is the best option, but the decision is not the student's to take unilaterally.

A revised statement will be issued later this afternoon (April 17).

Sam Cochran, director of the University Counseling Service, said his office has not yet seen an increase in the number of students seeking help. However, he does anticipate more clients in the coming weeks as the reality of the situation begins to sink in.

"People just cope with it in the immediate aftermath," said Cochran. "It's not until the adrenaline wears off that the full impact of the storm will begin to sink in, and that can take a week or two. We expect to see an increased use of our services then."

To prepare, he said the University Counseling Service will provide additional resources in the coming weeks. He said the best way for people to handle the situation emotionally is to get back into their daily routines to the fullest extent possible, help other people, seek support when needed and expect to ride an emotional roller coaster.

"It's not unusual to experience fear, sadness, frustration and other emotions," he said. Red flags that should prompt a person to seek help are prolonged despair, excess irritability, or an inability to re-establish a daily routine.

He said additional resources can be found on the University Counseling Service Web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~ucs/.

The university is also demolishing its motor pool headquarters at the corner of Madison and Prentiss, the only university building to sustain serious damage during the storm. Mike Wilson, motor pool manager, said the roof was torn off the building and interior damage was extensive. Demolition began over the weekend and should be completed today, he said.

Wilson said a trailer home will be used as a temporary office for the motor pool starting later this week. A long-term decision on office space will be made later. In the meantime, he said operations are continuing normally from offices in the University Services Building. About two-thirds of the motor pool's fleet that suffered damage has been repaired and any additional cars that are needed will be rented from local car rental agencies.

Numerous university and community organizations are available to provide assistance to students in need. For additional help, students can call:

--Academic Questions -- The Office of the Provost. 319-335-3565.

--Non-Academic Questions -- The Office of the Vice President for Student Services, 319-335-3557

--Parents Needing to Locate Student- -- Office of Student Life, 319-335-3059

--Temporary Housing for the remainder of the semester -- University of Iowa Student Government, 319-335-3860

--Volunteer Opportunities -- University of Iowa Student Government, 319-335-3860

--Donations (Cash)-University Box Office. IMU. Sponsored by UISG, 319-335-3860

--Student Care Packages (toiletries, etc) -- University of Iowa Student Government, 319-335-3860

--Emotional Support -- University Counseling Service, 319-335-7294

--Lost ID -- ID Office, 253 Iowa Memorial Union. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 319-335-0835

--Student Injuries (Minor) -- Student Health Center. 4189 Westlawn, 319-335-8370

--Short-term Emergency Loans -- Office of Financial Aid. 319-335-1450

--Financial Counseling -- Office of Financial Aid, 319-335-1450

--Legal Questions -- Student Legal Services, 319-335-3276

--Apartment/lease Questions -- Tenant Landlord Association, 319-335-3264.

Marner also reminded all students to phone their parents and guardians to let them know they're all right.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972; Writer: Tom Snee