Alfred State students help SUNY Old Westbury clean-up after Hurricane Sandy

Thirty-seven Alfred State students, faculty and staff traveled to SUNY College at Old Westbury on Long Island last Thursday, Nov. 8, to spend the weekend helping the college recover from storm damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“We are very grateful for the hard work that Alfred State students provided to help us through this challenging time,” said Dr. ML Langlie, Vice President for Student Affairs, SUNY College at Old Westbury. “The fact that students from another SUNY college reached out to us at this time is especially meaningful and much appreciated.”

Led by Heavy Equipment Operations Assistant Professor Mark Payne, the students helped clean-up downed trees across campus which were blocking roads and creating hazardous conditions. “The fact that we came with our own equipment and a team of highly skilled volunteers meant that we were able to make an immediate and significant difference at a critical time,” said Payne.

Alfred State’s Director of Civic Engagement Jonathan Hilsher says Alfred State plans to mobilize additional relief efforts for others impacted by Hurricane Sandy over the next several months, as long as clean-up from the devastating storm continues. Students who participated in the relief effort were from both the Alfred and Wellsville campuses representing a diversity of programs and majors. “Our students have the practical skills that are necessary for a job like this as well as a strong inclination to provide much needed community service,” added Hilsher.

Wellsville resident Roy Gay donated his tractor trailer to make the trip with students while the Otis Eastern Co. and Greater Southern Tier BOCES each loaned equipment and tools. Other supplies were donated by K-Mart, Walmart, Giant, and L.C. Whitford Co. Students were accompanied by faculty and staff Jack Jones, Building Trades instructor; Dennis Conrad, Automotive Trades instructor; and Steve Jakobi, associate professor Physical & Life Sciences.

“Instilling a strong sense of civic engagement in students is a central tenet of an Alfred State education,” said Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Chief of Police Greg Sammons, noting that Alfred students also responded with a similar relief effort last year in Binghamton following Hurricane Irene. “When there’s a community need, our students are ready, willing, and able to get the job done.”

Old Westbury trip