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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Campus

UH Victoria students evacuated to main campus


Students from UH Victoria reside in Law Hall after evacuating their campus in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey. | Kaylee Dusang/The Cougar

Students from UH Victoria were evacuated from their residential halls to the Quadrangle’s Law Hall at UH on Friday morning in preparation for Hurricane Harvey.

According to the UH Victoria Facebook page, about 70 students arrived to the Houston campus on buses around 11 a.m. A UH Victoria alert said the campus closed Thursday at noon, and the residential halls closed Friday at 7 a.m. UHV students who did not evacuate to Houston were encouraged to return home.

“Our responsibility was to make sure no one was staying there, and that all the students are aware that if they do stay, there are consequences like trespassing that could be applied — we emphasized on that one,” said biology junior and resident assistant for Jaguar Hall, Kevin Cortez. “This morning we made sure that each building, we have three in Jaguar village, and every room was checked.”

Cortez said the residence halls decided Thursday night to move the remaining students to Houston, hours after Victoria County was put under a mandatory evacuation.

“We had already been planning it and making announcements here and there,” Cortez said. “We established that we were leaving by 7 a.m. today to make sure that we would not reach any repercussions from the hurricane.”

Cortez said that since the residence halls were not aware the storm would escalate to a hurricane, everything was planned at the last minute, and many students did not communicate whether they were staying or heading home. There are seven UHV resident assistants overseeing the Victoria students at Law Hall.

“It was all last minute, very stressful, but we made it, so that’s great,” Cortez said.

From his experience, Cortez said, Victoria does not usually flood, but they wanted to play it safe since the city is a “hot spot” for the hurricane.

UHV criminal justice freshman Nick Castleberoy said he had moved into his hall at Jaguar Village only two days ago, and was rushed out Friday morning after finally unpacking.

“It was hectic all day since they kept changing the plans if it was mandatory or not, but I’m happy now that I’m safe,” Castleberoy said.

UH spokesperson Mike Rosen said in an email that it is undetermined how long the UHV students will remain on campus.

“They will reside in Law Hall until a determination is made on their return to UHV,” Rosen said.

According to an UHV alert, the first day of classes at UHV are canceled on Monday.

“We’re just taking precautions because our priority is the students’ safety,” Cortez said.

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