AESOP and Irene: 2 p.m. update to AESOP's response to the hurricane

From Bates College’s Dean of Students, and Mike Sagan ’12 and Kellen MacFadyen ’12, co-directors, AESOP (Annual Entering Student Outdoor Program) trips:

Here’s a 2 p.m. update to this morning’s bulletin about the effects of Hurricane Irene on this weekend’s travel for first-year students, and next week’s AESOP expeditions.

Bates is closely following weather advisories regarding Irene, and will change plans if necessary to assure the safety of all students involved. Given the predicted pace of the storm, we currently anticipate that the trips will be able to leave campus on Tuesday, Aug. 30, as scheduled.

Any adjustments necessary to maintain the highest levels of safety on all trips will be made in the coming days as this situation evolves and the storm impact becomes known. Due to the storm’s possible impacts on travel plans, we’ll attempt to work with students to facilitate their arrivals and AESOP participation to the greatest extent possible.

Predicted weather

Our understanding of Irene’s progress as of 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, is that the worst of the storm will pass through Maine by noon Monday, Aug. 29.

The official National Weather Service forecast for Lewiston is for rain to become heavy by Saturday night, occasionally heavy rain Sunday with wind gusts up to 45 mph in the afternoon and up to 55 mph in the evening, then clearing before dawn on Monday.

Access to residence halls

Access to residence halls is available to incoming first-year students from 8 a.m. Monday well into the evening. The Access Control Office, in Chase Hall, will be open until 7 p.m. to provide room keys and access cards to arriving students, and AESOP trip leaders will be available to let later arrivals into their dorms. That said, we urge arriving students to make safe travel their highest priority.

AESOP schedule slightly affected

The AESOP schedule for Monday and Tuesday will be slightly affected by the storm. Monday’s welcoming ceremony and dinner will take place later than originally planned, with the time to be announced.

Most AESOP trips will leave at the originally scheduled times on Tuesday — but alternative trips have been arranged for students who arrive too late to join the trips they signed up for. In short, students arriving Tuesday will go on a trip no matter what.

If your travel changes…

Most important, we urge students to inform AESOP leaders of changes to your itineraries. Please let us know when you plan to arrive, whether you’ll need to be picked up at a transportation facility, and especially if you expect to arrive much later than initially planned. Please email or call Kellen MacFadyen at 207-330-0610. If you can’t reach Kellen right away, be sure to leave a voicemail with your plans and a contact number.

Further notices will be posted on this page as warranted.