To: Members of the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program Students Initiative
Date: May 2, 2018
From: President Andrew Hamilton
Dear Members of the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program Students Initiative,
I am writing in response to your letter of April 27, 2018, regarding your request to extend NYU’s Hurricane Maria Assistance Program (HMAP) for an additional semester.
It is a source of pride to many of us at NYU that you found your stay here to be productive and enjoyable. However, the HMAP was always intended to be an emergency response, for a single semester, to the disaster that you and your institution were facing in the aftermath of the storm.
Colleges and universities across Puerto Rico are open, and we have heard from representatives of a number of schools there who have made it clear that they are eager for you to return home and rejoin your respective academic communities. In addition, the agreements that we have in place with your home institutions are limited to the Spring 2018 semester. Based on recent conversations, we know that many of your schools would not support extending the agreements, which are necessary for your credits to be recognized back home.
NYU’s program, like our fellow universities’ initiatives, was launched in hopes of making it possible for you to continue to pursue your degree in the face of curricular interruptions back home, and in hopes of making it easier for campuses in Puerto Rico to reopen. In particular, we strove to structure HMAP so as to minimize any unintended ill effects to your home institutions in Puerto Rico. Based on our conversations with representatives from schools in Puerto Rico, we believe that extending our program would in fact cause harm to their own recovery efforts, and we know they are relying on each of you to play an important role in that work.
For all of these reasons, the HMAP will conclude, as scheduled, at the end of the Spring semester. I am deeply gratified that your semester here has been such a positive experience for you, and I trust that the knowledge and relationships that you have developed here will be with you for years to come. You will always be a part of the extended NYU family, and I hope you will always feel violet pride; certainly, we have been proud to have you here.