By Sarah Eidemiller, Staff Writer
Has it snowed enough these last few weeks? Ask John Luther, a member of the Faculty Management Staff, and he’ll tell you that it has.
“We’ve used 300 pounds of salt over the last couple days for the sidewalks,” he said. “There have been large salt trucks on the back roads trying to keep up with the snow, and some nights before we leave, we will pre-salt everything. It makes it easier that way, and then we salt it again in the morning.”
Luther, who has worked at Saint Vincent for 20 years, said that last winter was especially rough because of the ice.
“That winter was unusual,” he said. “We haven’t had anything like that since the 50s. The snow we have been getting now has been more of a powder. Some snow is very wet, but this kind is more of a dry powder, which is good.”
Senior Amy Bayura, a history major and a commuter, is student teaching this semester at Hempfield High school. Since she started there two weeks ago, there has been one closure and two delays.
“This morning was awful with ice,” she said. “It was an in-service day, but they still gave the teachers a delay. Overall, if we are delayed the roads are usually clear enough to get there safely. I haven’t had any major issues yet, just a few slips and slides. They can’t wait for things to get back to the regular daily schedule so they don’t have to worry about adjusting their lessons for certain class periods. But on the plus side, I have heard several teachers say that they were happy they were able to sleep in a bit during delays and closures.” Bayura admitted that walking from Lot A to her classes in the winter can be a pain.
“Sometimes it’s hard trying not to fall, and it’s especially bad when you’re coming down the hill,” she said. “I get really cold feet. Usually I try to wear boots if I know I’ll be trudging through the snow, but even then my feet still end up cold.”
The long hike from Saint Benedict Hall is not the most exciting adventure either. Freshman Eric Auth, who is currently undeclared, said that he personally enjoys the colder weather, “but not the artic.” He said that the enormous amount of snow has made it tough to want to wake up in the morning.
“Last night with the freezing rain, walking the Oregon Trail was a difficult task,” Auth said. “I’ve only nearly slipped a few times, and mainly on the ice outside of the Carey Lounge where the water constantly falls. For the first major snow storm, the sidewalk on the way to the dorms did not exist, but was rather a set of footprints in slush. Overall, the sidewalks have been acceptable though.”
Scott Dowler, who has been part of the Faculty Management staff for 15 years, said that he is amazed by how many people speed on the dangerous roads. He sees it often on his way to work in the morning.
“I haven’t seen any accidents yet surprisingly, but my car has sledded down from the top of the ridge before,” he said. “You have to be careful; I see people out there on those bad roads driving over 50 miles per hour.”
Workers on campus have been putting in plenty of overtime so far this year, making sure the sidewalks are visible and plowing the massive amounts of snowfall.
“The students are really appreciative of all the shoveling we do,” Dowler said. “They thank us all the time, which is really great.”
Bayura said that she is ready for the wintry weather to end.
“Winter is one of those things that you just have to deal with,” she said. “I wish it could be 75 degrees all year young. Unfortunately, I would need to move in order to get that kind of weather. Winter has its advantages, like playing in the snow, drinking warm beverages, and wearing fluffy clothing. I am putting up with it for now, but after another month or so, you bet I’ll be ready for spring.”