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Hurricane Irma Updates

Wednesday, September 13, 1:45 p.m.

Campus All Clear

We would like to welcome our staff, faculty and students back to campus. We know because of Hurricane Irma many of you are facing difficult times as you clean up your homes, clear debris and wait for power to be restored. We will make it through this as a community, and we are in this together.

As of noon today, students are permitted to move back into their residence halls, and the campus has been officially reopened. Please continue to exercise caution and stay clear of areas that have been marked off with caution tape and cones for further clean up.

It has been encouraging to see the various departments on campus pull together and accomplish so much in terms of restoration and recovery over the past few days. We especially would like to express our appreciation to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the officers who serve on our campus for operating a round-the-clock command center here at SEU during the storm and in the days following. We are thankful for our first responders and the care they show our community not just during the storm, but every day.

Additionally, our Facilities, Housekeeping and Safety & Security teams have worked very hard to clean up the campus and to make it a safe and secure place as you everyone returns. Our Student Development team and Chartwells food service associates did an excellent job in providing for our students who were housed in the ride-out location on campus. We are grateful for all of their efforts and the time they spent caring for our SEU community, often putting the needs here on campus ahead of their own.

Food Service Hours

  • Tuscana will resume normal operating hours on Saturday, September 16. Until that time, the following schedule will be observed:
    Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
    Lunch: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
    Dinner: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Mi Casa will resume normal operating hours on Saturday, September 16. Until that time, they will be open from 8 am – 5 pm.
  • Chick-fil-A will resume normal operating hours on Saturday, September 16. Until that time, they will be open from 8:30 am – 4 pm.
  • The Buena Vida Food Court will resume normal operating hours on Saturday, September 16.

Fire Football

Saturday night’s Fire football game at Victory Field will be held as scheduled. All proceeds from the game will go to Hurricane Irma relief efforts, and first responders and their families get in free! Tailgating begins at 4:00 pm, and kickoff is at 7:00 pm.

Classes will resume as planned on Monday, September 18.

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Wednesday, September 13, 4:00 p.m.

Campus offices will reopen to staff tomorrow morning, Thursday September 14, and students will be permitted to move back into their dorms starting at noon. Although the campus has been cleared for a safe and secure return for everyone, please exercise caution and stay clear of areas that have been marked off with caution tapes and cones for further clean up. Also, please make sure that any guests or visitors who are accompanying you are aware that clean-up efforts that are currently underway.

Tuscana Ristorante hours for Thursday and Friday will be:

Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Normal hours of operation for the restaurant will resume on Saturday, September 16.

Saturday night’s Fire football game at Victory Field will be held as scheduled. All proceeds from the game will go to Hurricane Irma relief efforts. Click here to purchase tickets. Tailgating begins at 4:00 p.m. and kickoff is at 7:00 p.m.

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Wednesday, September 13, 10:00 a.m.

The Southeastern University campus is open today for essential personnel. The Facilities team is continuing cleanup efforts. Please continue to be cautious and keep your distance from areas that are being cleared of debris.

Students who sheltered the storm off campus will be permitted to return to campus on Thursday, September 14, after 12:00 p.m.

All campus offices will reopen on Thursday, September 14. Employees should plan to report to work at their regularly scheduled times.

Students should connect with their RD or RA to report damages in their rooms. RDs will provide facilities with a daily report of items to be addressed.

Classes will resume on Monday, September 18.

Additional updates will continue to be provided through email, the SEU website and SEU social media.

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Tuesday, September 12, 5:00 pm

As of Tuesday afternoon, electrical power has been restored to the Southeastern University campus, and the Facilities team is making excellent progress with clean-up efforts. However, there is still more work to be completed before the Southeastern University Emergency Team (SERT) issues the all-clear notice.

Students who have been housed in the ride-out location will be released later this afternoon to return to their residences on campus.

Supervisors will be connecting with essential personnel this evening with details about returning to work on Wednesday, September 13.

Other employees should plan to report to work on Thursday, September 14, at their regularly scheduled time.

Students who rode out the storm off campus will be permitted to return to campus on Thursday, September 14, after 12:00 pm.

Classes will resume on Monday, September 18.

In the meantime, please continue to use caution and maintain awareness.

Additional updates will continue to be provided through email, the SEU website and SEU social media.

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Tuesday, September 12, 11:00 a.m.

The Southeastern University campus is still without power, and we are currently working with the City of Lakeland to have power restored as soon as possible. Crews are continuing to work to clear the campus of debris and remove hazards to ensure a safe return to the campus for students, faculty and staff.

Additionally, plans are underway to have a generator set up in the Addison Building by tomorrow (Wednesday, September 13) to support essential staff. Your supervisor will contact you if you need to return to work tomorrow.

Other employees and students who took shelter from the storm off-campus will be permitted to return to campus once power has been restored and the Southeastern Emergency Response Team has given the all-clear.

Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for future updates.

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Monday, September 11, 8:45 p.m.

The following update is for SEU faculty and staff.

Until power is restored and the campus has been cleared for safety by the Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT), campus is closed and faculty/staff are not required to report to work. We are not able to determine the exact date of return at the present time; this determination will be made once power is restored and additional assessments have been made across campus. Once a return to work date has been determined we will inform you via email, the website and social media, so please monitor these for updates.

There may be personnel who are needed to carry out essential operations before the campus officially reopens. If this applies to you, you will be contacted by your supervisor. If you do not hear from your supervisor, you are not required to report to work until the assigned return to work date for all faculty/staff (once it has been determined and announced).

Please contact your supervisor directly with any questions.

Thank you for everything you do for SEU!

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Monday, September 11, 2:45 pm

The Southeastern Emergency Response Team is continuing to assess the campus to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff. The campus lost power earlier this morning when the City of Lakeland began efforts to repair downed lines in the area. SEU is working with them to have power restored as soon as possible, but please understand that there is extensive damage in the area and a detailed timeline is currently unknown. Until power can be restored to the dorms and all environmental hazards cleared from campus, students will continue to shelter in the ride-out location.

Students who are currently in the ride-out location, but have alternative off-campus temporary living arrangements available, are being allowed to leave campus after notifying their resident directors of their plans.

At this time, SEU residences, facilities and campus grounds are closed except to essential personnel. Employees should check with their supervisors to determine if they are needed on campus. Campus offices will reopen once power is restored and the campus has been cleared for safety.

Students who sheltered off campus will receive notification when the campus has reopened and they are able to return. Again, a detailed timeline is unknown based upon the availability of electrical power and the overall amount of work that needs to be done to ensure the safety of the campus for our students, faculty, and staff.

At this time, classes are currently planned to resume on Monday, September 18.

Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for further information.

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Monday, September 11, 9:00 a.m.

The hurricane warning for Polk County has been lifted, however, the area is still under a Tropical Storm warning. All students & staff who are being sheltered on campus are safe & will continue to shelter in place until SEU SERT determines that it is safe to leave the ride-out location. Preliminary reports indicate that campus has sustained minor damage. There is no power on campus.

We are grateful for the prayers and support we have received from around the county. Please continue to pray with us in the days to come.

An announcement regarding classes & reopening of SEU offices will be made once a thorough assessment of campus has been completed.

Please continue to monitor the website, social media & email for updates.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017, 11:45 a.m.

All resident students have reported to their assigned ride-out location as of 8 am Sunday morning. All personnel and plans are in place. Students and staff will continue to shelter in place until the all clear is given. Updates to follow.

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Saturday, September 9, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

The most recent forecasts still have Hurricane Irma passing through the Tampa area tomorrow with our campus predicted to receive Hurricane force winds and heavy rain. The designated ride-out location on campus will be open for students at 7 am on Sunday, September 10. Students who have questions about the designated ride-out location discussed at the mandatory meeting this morning should contact their assigned Resident Director as soon as possible.

The ride-out location will be overseen by SEU staff and monitored by Polk County Sheriff’s Officers on campus. Students must move to the designated ride-out location by 8 am on Sunday,  September 10.  At that time, a “shelter in place” order will be given and movement on campus will be restricted to emergency personnel until the “all clear” is given. Plan on being in the ride-out location for up to 48 hours.

As a reminder, campus has been closed to all persons who are not SEU students, faculty, and staff, with the exception of their immediate family members. This is to permit students to have last minute assistance in either preparing themselves for their stay on campus or to allow them to be picked up if they choose to relocate to another area. For the purpose of clarification, only SEU students, faculty and staff will be permitted to stay at the designated ride-out location, and will need to have their SEU ID with them.

For information about Public Emergency Shelters in Polk County, please visit this link.

Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for further updates. Stay safe!

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Saturday, September 9, 2017, 1:45 p.m.

In response to updated forecasts regarding the predicted path and arrival time of severe weather associated with Hurricane Irma, the Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) has adapted the timeline for students remaining on campus to ride-out the storm.

Our designated ride-out location on campus and will be open for students at 7 am on Sunday, Sept. 10. The ride-out location will be overseen by SEU staff and monitored by Polk County Sheriff’s Officers on campus. Students must move to the ride-puby 8 am on Sunday,  Sept. 10.  At that time, a “shelter in place” order will be given and movement on campus will be restricted to emergency personnel until the “all clear” is given. Plan on being in the ride-out location for up to 48 hours.

Also, to ensure the safety of everyone on campus the Southeastern Emergency Response Team has secured the Southeastern University campus and limited access to SEU students, faculty and staff. All SEU students, faculty and staff on campus will need to have their SEU ID cards with them at all times.

We would like to thank everyone for their continued assistance and efforts in keeping our SEU community safe. Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU website and SEU social media for further updates.

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Saturday, September 9, 2017, 9:15 a.m.

As of midnight, a hurricane warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for all of Polk County, Florida, including the Southeastern University campus. The Southeastern Emergency Preparedness Team (SERT) has completed its hurricane preparedness plans.

Students remaining on campus will meet at Bush Chapel at 10am Saturday morning for further instructions on ride-out locations from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and other SEU staff.

To ensure everyone’s safety, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will have a command center on campus throughout the duration of the storm.

SEU will continue to monitor the hurricane and share more information about campus closures and openings as information is available. Regular updates will be shared on SEU’s website and through the university’s official social media accounts. Critical information will also be sent through the SEU Alerts system as the situation develops.

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Friday, September 8, 4:30 p.m.

As Hurricane Irma presses closer to central Florida, the Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) has continued to prepare our campus and our community for the coming storm.  According to the most recent forecasts, we, are expected to experience hurricane force winds and heavy rains. All emergency plans should be in place and acted upon by everyone within the predicted path of the storm at this time.

As a reminder, there will be a mandatory meeting at Bush Chapel at 10 AM Saturday, September 9, for all student residents planning to stay on campus during the storm.

Please continue to monitor your email, the SEU.edu website, and SEU social media feeds for further information.  SEU Alert messages containing critical information will also be sent out as the situation develops.

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Friday, September 8, 11:00 a.m.

As SEU prepares for Hurricane Irma, we remind you to prioritize your personal safety.

We are anticipating and preparing for the potential effects of a hurricane. To ensure everyone’s safety, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will have a command center on campus throughout the duration of the storm. The officers will have situation control beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday night.

We strongly urge that students who have made plans to evacuate from campus move to safe off-campus locations by noon, Friday, Sept. 8.

Students who live on-campus and have not evacuated will be required to attend a mandatory meeting in Bush Chapel on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. for further instructions from Polk County Sheriff’s Office and other SEU staff.

Students must move into a campus ride-out location by 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. The ride-out locations will be determined and announced at the 10 a.m. Saturday meeting.

Ride-out locations will open at 8 p.m. Saturday. Each location will be overseen by SEU staff and monitored by Polk County Sheriff’s Officers on campus. Students must be checked in no later than 10 p.m. Saturday. Once in the ride-out location, no one may exit until an all-clear message has been given. Plan on being in the ride-out location for up to 48 hours.

No families, friends or non-service animals will be allowed to ride out the storm in SEU ride-out locations.

Students should be prepared for the loss of power, internet service and other basic comforts. The ride-out locations are focused primarily on safety over comfort. However, every effort will be made to make the stay as comfortable as possible. The ride-out locations will be stocked with food, water and basic medical supplies.

Students are permitted to bring additional water and snacks. Students also should bring practical comforts such as pillows, blankets, games, medications, change of clothes, toiletries, cell phone chargers, etc.

Students will be permitted to leave their ride-out location once the Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) has deemed the campus safe. Those who evacuated campus also will be allowed to return once the campus all-clear has been given.

SEU will monitor the hurricane and share more information about campus closures and openings as information is available. Regular updates will be shared on SEU’s website and through the university’s official social media accounts.

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Thursday, September 7, 1:45 p.m.

The Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) continues to monitor the status of Hurricane Irma. We will continue to provide daily updates to keep you informed and help you make the best decisions for your safety. Please continue to monitor your email, the main SEU.edu website, and SEU social media feeds for the most recent updates.

Extreme Weather Watches/Warnings
A hurricane watch is currently in effect for south Florida, but there are no active watches or warnings issued for Southeastern University at this time. Southeastern University will alert the SEU community when a hurricane warning is issued for our area via the SEU Alerts (e2Campus) system. Instructions on how to sign up for SEU Alerts (e2Campus) can be found on MySEU.

AlertPolk Notification System
SEU community members can also sign up for AlertPolk, a notification system that can provide you with critical information related to incidents specific to Polk County, such as severe weather, launch anomalies, boil water notices, law enforcement alerts, protective actions, etc. You can sign up for the AlertPolk notification system here.

Shelters/Emergency Updates
Polk County’s shelters remain closed at this time despite the announcement that Polk County Public Schools has cancelled classes for Friday. The shelters will remain closed until the track of Hurricane Irma has been determined. At that point, Polk County Emergency Management will determine which facilities to open for shelters and when.

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Wednesday, September 6, 10:00 a.m.

Southeastern is continuing to monitor forecasts regarding the trajectory and severity of Hurricane Irma and understand that it has the potential to have a serious impact on our community. Based on the latest forecasts and in an effort to provide our students, faculty, and staff more time to make preparations and/or evacuate, the decision has been made to expand our cancellation of classes and student events. The university will now be canceling all classes and student events starting Thursday, September 7, through Tuesday, September 12, with plans of reopening Wednesday, September 13.

Additionally, university offices will be closed Friday, September 8, through Monday, September 11. Essential employees are to report to work as scheduled on Friday and Monday. Employees should check with their supervisors to determine if they are needed on campus.

Student residents who choose to leave the campus must complete the Hurricane Info Sheet with their Resident Director or Resident Assistant prior to departing. Students are advised to depart from campus no later than noon on Friday, September 8.

Resident Life staff will also be meeting with students who choose to remain on campus to inform them of our severe weather protocol. Campus food services will still maintain normal operations.

As people of faith, let’s continue to pray for the safety and protection of all of those who are in the path of this storm, that they may sense God’s peace and presence.

Please continue to check your emails, the Southeastern website and social media for further updates. We will continue to assess and communicate situational updates as the storm develops.

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Tuesday, September 5, 3:00 p.m.

Southeastern has continued to monitor the path and magnitude of Hurricane Irma. It is still too early to estimate the full nature of the effects of the hurricane, but as a precautionary measure, in order to ensure the safety of Southeastern students, the university will be canceling all classes and student events on Friday, September 8, and Monday, September 11, with plans of reopening Tuesday, September 12.

Student residents who choose to leave the campus must communicate via email with their Resident Director and provide the address of their destination. Resident Life staff will also be meeting with students that chose to remain on campus to inform them of our severe weather protocol.

Florida is projected to feel the effects of the hurricane on Saturday evening through Sunday morning. Southeastern has made all necessary preparations in the event that severe weather is experienced. Campus food services will maintain normal operations. Please check your emails, the Southeastern website and social media for further updates. We will continue to assess and communicate class campus scheduling as the storm develops.

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Tuesday, September 5, 10:45 a.m.

Southeastern University has anticipated and planned for emergency events such as Hurricane Irma. The Southeastern Emergency Response Team (SERT) is closely monitoring the latest weather forecasts, as well as the emergency preparations of local government agencies, in order to prepare the SEU community. SERT is comprised of multiple departmental leaders who are able to make preparations to secure and prepare the campus.

As of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Irma is currently a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of more than 170 mph, is approximately 270 miles east of Antigua, and is moving west at approximately 14 mph. At this time, Southeastern is not in the direct path of Hurricane Irma. While it is difficult to predict the exact trajectory of the storm, it is anticipated that it will affect the state of Florida and potentially the SEU campus.

Therefore, the SERT team will continue to regularly monitor and communicate with the SEU community. Campus communication will be via the home page of SEU.edu, via email, and social media.

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