Fairfield University President Jeffrey von Arx is used to hosting visiting Jesuits, campus speakers, even his parents on occasion in his spacious off-campus house -- but never students. Until Sandy.
Von Arx opened his home to four Fairfield students who had been spending their senior year sharing a rented home on Fairfield Beach Road, just four houses from Long Island Sound. Hurricane Sandy has left much of the Fairfield shoreline impassable, and many beach front homes suffered heavy damage -- including "The Lobster Trap," the house where von Arx's new housemates lived.
"We have some 350 students displaced," said von Arx. Of those, 237 students told the university they needed help finding temporary housing. Many ended up moving in with friends on campus or into converted lounges. Some 30 students were placed with volunteers in the community.
"When I sent out an appeal to faculty, staff and alumni in the area who might be able to house students, I figured I had to set an example," von Arx said.