Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The prospects of blizzard-like conditions slamming Long Island Friday just got even likelier.The National Weather Service Thursday afternoon issued a blizzard warning for all of Long Island beginning 6 a.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday.The weather service also upped its predictions of snow accumulation in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, noting that both could see more than one foot of snow.Meteorologists predicted Nassau could get blanketed with 10 to 14 inches, while Suffolk could be hit with 10 to 15 inches.The powerful winter storm is expected to also bring winds of 20 to 40 mph, plus gusts of up to 60 mph.On top of the heavy snow predictions, the national weather service is also calling for temperatures Friday night to fall into the 20s.The strongest winds and heaviest snowfall will occur Friday evening into Saturday morning, the NWS said.The potential blizzard also makes driving dangerous, with the storm possibly spawning whiteout conditions. The weather service warned residents not to drive, but if people must travel “have a survival kit with you.”The NWS also issued a coastal flood warning for both counties, noting that waves could reach up to 13 feet in Suffolk.Widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads and basements is also expected, meteorologists said, adding, “numerous road closures may be needed.”National Grid, which will be leading storm response over the Long Island Power Authority, said Thursday that the storm could knock out power to more than 100,000 customers.
The freshman summer orientation sessions have been re-structured to better address the needs of first-generation college students, as well as incoming freshmen who may be unfamiliar with University procedures, according to the Office of Orientation Programs.Julia Stanton, associate director of orientation programs, said that a first-generation student information session will be added to the orientation schedule this year. “We know the percentage of first-generation students, and it’s such a significant portion of the USC population, so we knew it was an important addition to our program,” Stanton said.Stanton also said that upon request the guest fee for that particular session can be waived for the parent or guest of a first-generation student. “We wanted to offer an option for people who might be in a hard financial situation to get the information they need,” Stanton said. Monica David, a rising sophomore currently working as an orientation advisor, stated that one of the main goals of the orientation program is to prepare new students for what to expect when they begin their first year. “We want them to feel more confident coming in, and know what resources are available to them,” David said. In addition, Lisa Starr, the director of USC Orientation Programs said that the first day of orientation will be dedicated to students drafting academic plans with their advisers prior to course registration.Since the USC Village is not expected to be open to students until late July, a large percentage of incoming freshmen who plan to live there will not be able to participate in housing tours that are typically included in the orientation program. However, David asserted that the orientation advisors were prepared to manage any feelings of uncertainty. In addition, Starr said that the students will be given an introduction to the renewed residential college experience on the second day of orientation. Following the tradition of previous years, the program will focus on helping new students register for classes online and adjust to their new living situations. Orientation advisors will perform a skit in which members of the incoming class are introduced to some scenarios that the typical college student may face — for instance, stress from schoolwork and a number of other social situations. In addition, the orientation advisors will make themselves available to the students to engage in one-on-one conversations and help build more personal relationships.“We’re so excited for this new class and ready with an amazing orientation staff [to get] all the new students registered,” Starr said.According to David, the increase in the freshman class size is one of the biggest changes from previous years. In the past year, the incoming first-year class size rose from 3,068 students to approximately 3,560 students. To make adjustments for this increase, students who finish their class registration early will now have the opportunity to participate in activities that allow them to experience a taste of general education seminars and freshman seminars.“Students will be able to go into the ceramics room and play around with the 3D printer,” David said. “This is to ensure that [General Education Seminars] and freshman seminars have more students, and that these students will be more excited about it.”This year, the orientation program will also allow students who arrive early to participate in an escape room. These escape rooms, which engage players by providing them with a series of clues and puzzles to complete an objective, will enable new students to quickly form relationships with each other and create a more cohesive atmosphere.“I want them to have a great time, and see me as a role model and a resource,” David said. “I’m very excited.”Tomás Mier and Emma Peplow contributed to this report.