Cathedral grad shares his Hurricane Ida story

Oliver Ossip ’21 attends Tulane University in New Orleans

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Oliver Ossip ’21 is a freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Avery Stuckey, Reporter

The Class of 2021 had a high school senior year full of one-way hallways, masks and myriad other Covid restrictions. Going away to college provided a way for them to get a sense of freedom. But students attending Tulane University in New Orleans, including Oliver Ossip ’21, have already been faced with challenges and restrictions once again because of Hurricane Ida.

Students on campus had to come up with an evacuation plan and get to safety before the storm got worse. “I was able to get out the day before it got bad,” said Tulane freshman Oliver Ossip, who was interviewed over the phone on Sept. 2.  “My roommate stayed and they lost power and some of the buildings are flooding,” Ossip said. “But they were bused to Houston.”

Ossip noted that while the Tulane campus made it through the storm in relatively good shape, the same cannot be said for the rest of New Orleans. “The people at Tulane got the best of it because the buildings are pretty well structured, but the people in the city got it a lot worse,” he said.

Since the evacuations have taken place, the Tulane administration has adjusted the academic schedule. “From Sept. 1 until Sept. 13 we have no classes at all, and from Sept. 13 until Oct. 13 there are online classes and then we should be back on campus,” Ossip said.  “A lot of teachers do not have the internet (because of ongoing power outages), which is why we do not have classes.”

However, some professors are able to reach out it is through email. “So far teachers have emailed students saying right now do not worry about classes, (but to) focus on the now, because obviously this is a stressful situation, so they do not want students to freak out about classes,” said Ossip.

Ossip added, “It hasn’t really hit me yet, because it has only been two days, but it is kind of frustrating because I was very excited to be at college and was having a super good time and after having to be online for so long because of Covid. I do not want to be online again,” he said.

Challenges like these provide an opportunity for lessons to be learned.  “Be appreciative of everything you have because there are so many people who are less fortunate who this situation is affecting so much more,” Ossip said.

Ossip had an evacuation plan that immediately went into effect for him but others are still adjusting. “I was lucky enough to be able to evacuate and be in a safe place in Indianapolis, but (for) many people in New Orleans their houses are flooded or destroyed and they do not really have anywhere to go,” he said.

At the end of the interview, Ossip said, “There are good links to donate to those who need it,” and then mentioned the Cajun Navy and the Red Cross of New Orleans.