Sonoma State's Response to the Fires

#NomaFAQ

CLICK HERE for a continuously updated page with frequently asked questions about the fire.

DONATIONS

If you are in a position to provide financial support, we have established a university website through which you can make cash donations. 

UPDATES

Dear campus community,

I am writing you today at sunset here at Sonoma State. It was sunny and bright outside, yet I am acutely aware that the wildfires continue to burn throughout the region. This message communicates what we have done in the past week to manage the situation at SSU, and what we will be doing over the next four to five days as we transition back to work and classes.

On Monday, as soon as we became aware of the danger posed by the blazes, the university opened what is called an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Following federal and California State University guidelines, our management team and other trained campus personnel, including our police, have been working in shifts around the clock to safeguard our campus community.

I want to take this moment to thank the many employees who have been working to ensure the safety of our campus in spite of the challenges they faced in their personal lives. Like other people in the North Bay, some EOC workers have been evacuated and some lost homes and property to the fires. To all those who have been working with us here in the EOC, my sincerest thanks for sharing with us your time and talent.

Throughout this time, we have taken constant and careful measure of the ways this unprecedented natural disaster has disrupted the lives of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and our loved ones. Please continue to reach out to one another and, as you’re are able to do so, consider helping others.

We have begun several major efforts to address our collective needs.

  • #NomaNeeds is a Facebook group we have created to help our community members share all sorts of resources currently in short supply, including housing, childcare, and other necessities.
  • #NomaCares, a one-stop shop for students and employees who are seeking to connect to services they need, will open Wednesday in Shulz 3001.
  • #NomaFAQ is available now on our homepage, and offers answers to the many questions we have been receiving.
  • For those who are able to make monetary gifts, we have established an official SSU website to collect funds that will be distributed to campus community members in need.

We know that our collective need for help and healing will be great. The survey we distributed to the campus community via email last night has helped us start to assess and prepare to address needs. It is impossible, quite honestly, for me to put in my own words the difficulties faced by some community members. I was particularly struck by one person, who lost so much but said so little: “home & car gone, everything lost.”

Remember that whether you are a student or employee, counseling services are available to you at no cost through Counseling and Psychological Services and our Employee Assistance Program. I would like to take this moment to thank our incredible HR team, which has been working with us here in the EOC to provide guidance on our recovery efforts.

We all know resuming classes after an unexpected week away and amid the loss that many of us are feeling and experiencing will present challenges. As provost, I will be providing specific guidance to our faculty members, who I would like to thank for picking up where they left off and helping all of us complete fall semester as planned.

Our colleagues in Student Affairs have begun to organize an effort to provide academic advising to our students. Jaime Zamjahn has stepped forward to receive, organize and respond to the many students we believe will need assistance in the coming weeks and months with their coursework. You can email Jaime at studentaffairs@sonoma.edu.

In closing, while we prepare to close the EOC for the day, and transition from a 24-7 operation to 12-hour shifts during regular business hours, I would like to thank everyone who has brought us to this point, and who continue to work on our behalf.

First and foremost, I thank the 10,000 firefighters from all over the nation and Australia who are here with us in Sonoma and Napa. You are saving our homes and our lives. You are saving our schools and our communities. The only way I can think to thank you in return is to promise that we here at Sonoma State will do all we can to cherish and nurture what your work has made possible for us as educators.

I would also like to thank all first responders, Sonoma County, the CSU Chancellor’s Office and our sister CSU campuses for their support, including employees driving here from throughout the state to share their time and skills.

Please do continue to reach out to us at emergency@sonoma.edu with your thoughts and concerns. And please continue to post to our #nomaneeds Facebook group if you have help you can offer to those impacted.

Speaking on behalf of the leadership team, I look forward to seeing all of you on Wednesday.

 

Kindest Regards,

Lisa Vollendorf

Executive Vice President and Provost

10/13/17, 7:45 p.m. 

By now, I hope all of you have learned that Sonoma State will re-open for faculty and staff on Tuesday, Oct. 17, with classes resuming on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

As we prepare to re-open campus, we are mindful of the extraordinary impact that the North Bay fires have had on many members of our university community, their friends and family.

We are writing now to ask for your help shaping our next steps and helping one another.

  • We are inviting all university community members via email to complete a survey that will help us learn more about how we might help people recover from this unprecedented natural disaster. 
  • We have received many inquiries about ways to provide in-kind, emotional, and other support. Our #NomaNeeds Facebook group is a place for our community to engage and connect.
  • NomaCares, a pop-up center for all campus community members, will open Wednesday morning in Schultz 3001. The center will offer in-person assistance to students, faculty and staff.
  • If you are in a position to provide financial support, we have established a university website through which you can make cash donations. 

Counselors tell us perhaps the best thing we all can do at times like this is to check in with one another. I hope you will continue to reach out to friends and family. We will continue to send updates via email, text, Facebook, Twitter and Sonoma.edu.

Kindest regards,

Joyce Lopes

Vice President of Administration and Finance

Incident Commander

10/13/17, 1:22 p.m. 

Campus Community:

As fire conditions have remained stable near SSU over the past 24 hours, we are transitioning to recovery mode. We are focused on preparing for the safe return of students, faculty, and staff to campus.

To allow sufficient time for those preparations, the following timeline is in effect:

  • Campus will remain CLOSED until 12 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, October 17. Only employees called in by their supervisors will be allowed to return to campus before that time.
  • Buildings will OPEN at 12 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, October 17. Managers are required to report at this time. Staff members called in by their supervisors are also required to report. 
  • Residence halls will open at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17. The Kitchens will reopen for dinner that evening. More information will be provided directly to resident students.
  • Classes and normal campus business will resume on Wednesday, October 18.

 Students experiencing difficulty returning to class according to this timeline should contact Student Affairs (studentaffairs@sonoma.edu) for assistance.

Employees experiencing difficulty returning to work according to this timeline should contact HR (hr@sonoma.edu) for leave options and ADA accommodations. See the FAQ on sonoma.edu for more information.

Until the campus re-opens on Tuesday, students and employees are NOT ALLOWED to return to campus under any circumstances, unless requested by a supervisor. Anyone attempting to return early will be asked to leave.

We will continue to provide email updates as needed. We will also continue to update sonoma.edu.

For questions or concerns, please call (707) 664-4391. For emergencies, call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer.

Please continue to put safety first,

Joyce Lopes

Vice President, Administration and Finance

Incident Commander

10/12/17, 1:10 p.m.

There is no new update at this time.

We would like to send a huge thank you to CAL FIRE, County of Sonoma, Sonoma Sheriff, and all agencies, first responders, and volunteers fighting for the safety of our community. Your responsiveness, dedication and willingness defend our community are remarkable. We cannot thank you enough

10/12/17, 12:01 a.m.

Although Sonoma State University is still not under immediate threat, on Wednesday, October 11 at 8 p.m. we decided to close campus to ensure the safety of our students and employees. Students who were able to leave campus to a safe location were required do so after checking out with their CSA. Students without transportation or safe housing were assisted by SSU to find a ride and a safe place to stay.

From this point forward, we will provide email updates once daily unless conditions change to warrant more frequent communication. We will continue to update the Fire Update, FAQ and Resources pages on sonoma.edu.

Tomorrow we will be sending a survey to students, faculty and staff to begin to assess the impacts of the fires on our campus community and to collect information on unmet needs. We also will be sending out a donation website to begin to build a disaster relief fund for the Seawolf community.

For questions or concerns regarding call (707) 664-4390.

10/11/17, 8:07 p.m.

Dear SSU Students,

SSU is still not under immediate threat, but we have made the decision to CLOSE the campus. Students who are able to leave campus safely and go to a safe place are now REQUIRED to leave campus after checking out with your CSA.

If you are unable to leave campus safely and go to a safe place, you are REQUIRED to report to the Student Center lounge by 8:30 p.m. You MUST bring your go-bag with you to the Student Center.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390.  For emergencies call 911.  Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer. Please continue to check sonoma.edu for ongoing updates as the situation unfolds.

Please continue to put safety first,

Joyce Lopes, Incident Commander

10/11/17, 6:46 p.m.

Dear SSU Students,

We continue to strongly encourage all students who are on campus to leave as soon as possible. We also continue to NOT be under evacuation at this

time, but are watching the rapidly changing weather conditions. If you have transportation to leave campus and get to a safe place, please do so now.

If we have to evacuate later, you will have to leave on the official buses. You will NOT be allowed to drive your cars.

Before leaving, CHECK OUT with your CSA so we know where you are.

Classes and University business remain suspended until Monday, October 16, 2017.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390.  For emergencies call 911.  Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer. Please continue to check sonoma.edu for ongoing updates as the situation unfolds.

Please continue to put safety first,

Joyce Lopes, Incident Commander

10/11/17, 2:33 p.m.

Dear SSU Students,

We strongly encourage all students who are still on campus to leave as soon as possible. We are NOT under evacuation at this time, but the weather conditions are changing rapidly. If you have a way to leave campus safely and get to a safe place, please do so now.

If we have to evacuate later, you will have to leave on the official buses. You will NOT be allowed to drive your cars.

Before leaving, CHECK OUT with your CSA so we know where you are.

Classes and University business remain suspended until Monday, October 16, 2017.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer. Please continue to check sonoma.edu for ongoing updates as the situation unfolds.

Please continue to put safety first,

Joyce Lopes, Incident Commander

10/11/17, 12:01 a.m.

Sonoma State is NOT being evacuated at this time, but students who choose to remain on campus should pack a bag to be ready should evacuation be necessary.

We have created a page of Frequently Asked Questions for students and employees. It is available at https://news.sonoma.edu/article/sonoma-complex-fire-faq and will be updated as questions and answers come in.

Many members of the Seawolf community have lost their homes. We are working on creating a donation website to help Sonoma State students, faculty and staff affected by the fires. A link to donate will be provided as soon as possible.

Classes and University business have been canceled until Monday, October 16. Counseling and Psychological Services will be available for students in Student Center 3020 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m Wednesday-Friday.

Cellular and internet service has been spotty in the area. Santa Rosa’s KSRO radio (1350 AM and 103.5 FM) is broadcasting continuous, up-to-date coverage of the Sonoma County fires.

The situation in Sonoma County remains dynamic, so please continue to put safety first.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call or (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer.

Please continue to put safety first,

Joyce Lopes, Incident Commander

10/10/17, 7:10 p.m.

Due to fire concerns, effective immediately SSU will not be open for classes or university business until Monday, October 16. We are not evacuating at this time. The Student Center and The Kitchens will remain open with limited service. Students who choose to leave need to check-out with their CSA. All on-campus students should have a bag packed and ready in case of evacuation. Employees should stay off campus unless instructed otherwise.

10/10/17, 1:38 p.m.

Classes and University business have been suspended tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 11) due to fires in the area. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should come in. We will continue to provide updates as available.

10/10/17, 12:27 p.m.

We are still NOT under mandatory evacuation at this time and continue to monitor the fires and conditions on campus. A decision regarding opening campus for classes and regular University business tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 11, will go out no later than 3 p.m. today.

10/10/17, 10:17 a.m.

There are no new updates at this time. As a reminder, the Student Health Center is open for students until 5 p.m. today.

10/10/17, 7:04 a.m.

There is no new update at this time. The next update will be at 10 a.m., or earlier if needed.

Classes and University business remain suspended today (Tuesday, October 10) due to fires in the area.

10/10/17, 2:43 a.m.

The Student Center will be open Tuesday, October 10 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Food will be served in The Kitchens 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

All voluntary evacuations for Rohnert Park have been lifted. On-campus residents should remain in their residence unit with windows and doors shut. The next update will be come at 7 a.m. or earlier, if needed.

Classes and University business have been suspended today (Tuesday, October 10) due to fires in the area. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should come in.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer.

10/9/17, 10:09 p.m.

There is still no mandatory evacuation in place for Sonoma State. All voluntary evacuations for Rohnert Park have been lifted. On-campus residents should remain in their residence unit with windows and doors shut. The Student Center will reopen at 7 a.m. Tuesday, October 10. The next update will be at 2 a.m. or earlier, if needed.

Classes and University business have been suspended today (Monday, Oct. 9) and tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 10) due to fires in the area. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should come in.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer.

10/9/17, 8:04 p.m.

At this time, we are closing the voluntary evacuation center in the Student Center for the night. On-campus residents should remain in their residence unit with windows and doors shut. The Student Center will reopen at 7am tomorrow morning. We will continue to update you as available.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer.

10/9/17, 5:58 p.m.

Classes and University business have been suspended today (Monday, Oct. 9) and tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 10) due to fires in the area. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should come in.

Students who evacuated earlier to the Petaluma KOA campground have returned to campus. The Student Center is open all night to all SSU students as a voluntary evacuation center. Dinner is available in The Kitchens tonight until 7p.m. The Kitchens will reopen for breakfast tomorrow morning from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and will serve dinner from 5-7 p.m. Students who live on campus should reach out to their CSA with any needs they may have.

Due to air quality, we recommend that everyone remain indoors with windows and doors shut. On-campus students are encouraged to remain at their residence or the voluntary student evacuation center in the Student Center.

For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911. Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer.

10/9/17, 4:07 p.m.

Due to air quality, it is recommended you remain indoors with windows and doors shut. On-campus students are encouraged to be in their residence or at the voluntary student evacuation center in the Student Center. The voluntary student evacuation center is open to ALL SSU students.

10/9/17, 3:58 p.m.

Based on current information, we feel campus is safe at this time and students at KOA will be bussed back to campus.

10/9/17, 3:41 p.m.

Students are encouraged to check in with loved ones to let them know that they are ok.

10/9/17, 1:10 p.m.

Please do not call University Police unless you need a police officer. For questions or concerns regarding the fires, please call (707) 664-4390. For emergencies call 911.

10/9/17, 10:17 a.m.

Classes and University business have been suspended today (10/09) AND tomorrow (10/10) due to area fires. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should come it.

10/9/17, 8:51 a.m.

We are monitoring the fire and we are still NOT under mandatory evacuation. This is NOT a public evacuation center.

10/9/17, 7:57 a.m.

Due to poor air quality, we recommend students go to the voluntary evacuation center at the Student Center. There are face masks available at the front desk of the Student Center and University Police.

For those who don't want to stay on campus, there is a voluntary evacuation center at KOA Petaluma. If you have a car, drive there. If you need transportation, meet outside of Student Center. KOA Petaluma address: 20 Rainsville Rd. Petaluma, CA.

10/9/17, 7:20 a.m.

Classes are suspended for the remainder of the day and employees should not report to work. Employees will be notified by their supervisor if they should come in. We will continue to update you as needed. The SSU Student Health Center is still open.

10/9/17, 7:04 a.m.

For those who dont want to stay on campus, there is a voluntary evacuation center at KOA Petaluma. If you have a car, drive there. If you need transportation, meet outside of student center. KOA Petaluma address: 20 Rainsville Rd. Petaluma, CA.

10/9/17, 5:39 a.m.

We are still NOT under evacuation at this time. Campus is closed until noon today. Please do not come to campus at this time. We will continue to update you as needed.

10/9/17, 4:45 a.m.

Fire in area, we are NOT under evacuation at this time. On-campus students who wish to leave their room, meet at 3rd floor Student Center.

Classes and University business has been suspended up until noon today due to the area fires. We will continue to update you as needed.