Ross University Blog

Important Information for New and Returning Students

September 01, 2015

Please note the following update on response to Tropical Storm Erika and guidelines related to the start of the September semester. This update is current as of approximately 4:00 PM EDT on September 4, 2015. Please read the following information carefully.

FOR STUDENTS ARRIVING IN SAN JUAN

We've received some questions about what travelers should do when they arrive in San Juan. When you arrive, please reach out to our San Juan contact, Daphne, at (787) 607-3737 (texting would be best). She can then advise you further regarding staff placement, baggage questions, and hotel accommodations. Typically, staff members are stationed in or near the lobby of the Airport Hotel in Terminal D.

EXTENDED HOURS FOR STUDENT SERVICES: 

RUSM Student Services will be extending our hours this weekend to continue to support students:

  • Saturday – 8am to 8pm
  • Sunday -  9am to 6pm
  • Monday (Labor Day Holiday)- 9am to 6pm

You can reach the Office of Student Services via email at StudentServices@rossu.edu or by phone at (754) 208-4595. 

NEW WEBINAR UP - SEPT 3: Click Here.

Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, RUSM dean and chancellor, gathered staff from Miramar, Dominica, and Guadeloupe to discuss important matters related to new and continuing students heading to Dominica for the September 2015 semester.  That meeting was recorded as a webinar.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Click Here.

To assist students as they prepare for travel to Dominica to begin the September 2015 semester, we have compiled a comprehensive list of FAQs from students and parents.

WEBINAR UPDATE - SEPT 1: RECORDED VERSION AVAILABLE: Click Here.

Joseph Flaherty, MD, Dean and Chancellor, led a webinar on Monday, September 1, with updates on how Tropical Storm Erika affected the campus. The dean spoke about safety, security, travel, and other important issues.

PHOTOGRAPHS: On Sunday, August 30, we began taking and posting photographs on campus and in the surrounding area. Visit the RUSM Facebook page to view them. We are continually adding add more as we get them.

NOTE FOR TRAVELING STUDENTS: Please send a copy of your updated itinerary to StudentServices@rossu.edu.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

We appreciate your patience and understand that you are anxious to finalize your travel plans. Please note the following:

RE-BOOKING: We encourage you to consult your original booking agent about getting to Guadeloupe when re-booking flights. In simple terms, you should substitute Guadeloupe for Dominica in your travel plans. We recommend that students review options connecting to Guadeloupe (not just your original itinerary) at the earliest available date. (For example, if your original itinerary was for you to travel to San Juan and then use LIAT to get to Dominica, you should now see if Barbados or other islands with LIAT service have flights to Guadeloupe. This will provide more options for students to return to Dominica for classes beginning Monday morning. 

BOOKING A NEW ITINERARY: If your original carrier does not have available flights to get you to Guadeloupe, you will need to purchase a new coach/economy priced ticket. When you arrive on the campus, you will be able to request a reimbursement for the cost difference and change fees from your original itinerary to the new one. For reimbursement purposes, you will need to submit the following: your original itinerary, new itinerary, and receipts for of all charges related to the reimbursement request.

CURRENCY IN GUADELOUPE: Please be advised that the official currency in Guadeloupe is the euro.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR TRAVEL ISSUES: For questions, please use the following contacts:

  • Any questions, continuing students: Contact RUSM Student Services at 754-208-4595 or via email at studentservices@rossu.edu.
  • Any questions, new students: Contact your new student coordinator or send an email to newstudent@rossu.edu.
  • To resolve issues if original booking agent/company cannot assist: Please email ProTravel at
    tom.backer@protravelinc.com and indicate that the original booking agent/company is not able to resolve the issue.
  • Students connecting in San Juan: RUSM has secured additional flights with Seaborne Airlines. Please email tom.backer@protravelinc.com to have this portion of your ticket issued.

Please note that our teams are working to support students as quickly as possible. There may be a slight delay in us returning your inquiry but we will get back to you.

FERRY SERVICES: Please note the following ferry schedule for the L'Express Des Isle Ferry company:

 

 

Departs Guadaloupe

Arrives Portsmouth

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

8:00am

10:15am

Thursday, September 3, 2015

7:30pm

9:45pm

Friday, September 4, 2015

8:00am

10:15am

Saturday, September 5, 2015

1:00pm

3:15pm

Sunday, September 6, 2015

7:30pm

9:45pm

Monday, September 7, 2015

8:00am

10:15am

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

7:30pm

9:45pm

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

8:00am

10:15am

Thursday, September 10, 2015

7:30pm

9:45pm

Friday, September 11, 2015

8:00am

10:15am

Saturday, September 12, 2015

1:00pm

3:15pm

 

 

INFORMATION ON THE START OF CLASSES

After careful review of the situation, RUSM will start classes on Monday, September 7 as originally scheduled. There was no damage to our campus, and now that water, telecommunications, and Internet services have been restored, we are prepared to welcome students into a learning environment that is safe and can support their needs.

We have also conferred with Dr. Dorian Shillingford, chairman of the Dominica Medical Board, which is part of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s Ministry of Health. Dr. Shillingford visited the campus today and his assessment is that “Ross has the resources and ability to continue now.”

The Student Orientation process has commenced, including check-in and registration. This will continue as more students arrive to campus, and our faculty and staff have committed to providing an excellent orientation for the new students.

Travel to Dominica remains a challenge. Although the government is making good progress on repairing vital infrastructure, the major airport of Dominica remains closed at this time. However, we are working on identifying and arranging alternative modes of transportation to get students to the campus safely and expediently, including ferry service from neighboring islands. We are communicating to students, faculty, and staff as those alternatives are assessed and prepared.

MORE INFORMATION - SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

  • PHOTOGRAPHS: On Sunday, August 30, we began taking and posting photographs on campus and in the surrounding area. Visit the RUSM Facebook page to view them. We are continually adding add more as we get them.
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES: LIME and Digicel telecommunications services are up and running. Please be advised that service may be intermittent as issues are resolved. We are also assisting students with using satellite phones to contact family members.
  • TRANSPORTATION TO DOMINICA: The Douglas-Charles Airport (formerly Melville Hall) in Dominica remains closed at this time. We have welcome desks at airports in Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Barbados, or Antigua to assist students traveling through those connecting airports. We are identifying potential alternative modes of transportation to Dominica, including ferries from nearby islands, and communicating those options to students.
  • CONDITION OF ROADWAYS IN DOMINICA: A special security and safety team has conducted an assessment of roadways and bridges in Dominica that were damaged by the storm. Progress is being made on repairing many roadways but there is significant damage that will take to repair. Water taxis are transporting personnel to and from Roseau, and we are securing arrangements to have these services on call.
  • WATER: The water supply has been restored to the Picard area.
  • PHARMACY: The Bull's Eye Pharmacy in Picard is open as of noon on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
  • WHITE COAT CEREMONY: The White Coat Ceremony will be rescheduled. The new date will be provdied as soon as possible.
  • THANK YOU to the RUSM staff on campus who have been working around the clock in difficult conditions to manage our response to this event, support our students, and support one another. 

Please continue to check this page often for updates, as we will post new information when it becomes available. We will continue to update this page as the situation changes or more information is available. Updates will also be posted to the RUSM Facebook page and Twitter feed. We will NOT be using the RUSM Class pages on Facebook to post updates or respond to questions.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Dominica who have been affected by this storm, including members of the RUSM campus staff.

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