Barchi fails to post report on Sandy
Letter to the editor
A year since Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey, many of us are looking back and trying to put into words the lessons we learned. From the sublime: tell my family I love them every single day. To the practical: keep an emergency kit.
After the Superstorm, President Barchi wisely commissioned a panel to study Rutgers response to the storm and recommend action for the future safety of our community. Students, faculty and staff were asked to fill out an extensive online survey.
At his September address to the University Senate, President Barchi mentioned that the panel has completed its report, which came to 275 pages. He flashed a slide of the report’s cover on the screen as he spoke. He told us that the panel’s recommendations have been accepted and are being implemented. But…where is the report? What are the lessons we learned?
The report is not to be found online. It has not been shared with staff or with union representatives who have requested to see it. Neither the data, nor the conclusions, nor the recommendations seem to be available to those of us who were, shall we say, the subjects of this inquiry. Does that make sense? Can we, as a community, effectively prepare for the next emergency without the knowledge of what went right and wrong. And what improvements can or have been made? Awareness, education and practice are known to be the factors that build effective community action in emergencies.
It’s hard to see how secrecy improves the Rutgers community’s preparedness. Another storm, another tragedy, another breakdown of a system we rely on are sure to come. If we learn together from our mistakes and triumphs, we will in fact be stronger than the storm.
Lucye Millerand is president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-American Federation of Teachers Local 1766.