By Sean Callahan, News Editor
Snow showers and frigid winds did not waste any time greeting Saint Vincent College this semester. Winter Storm Izzy, coined by The Weather Channel, dumped more than 10 inches of snow in Latrobe during Jan. 16 and 17.
On the morning of Jan. 17, David Hollenbaugh, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, sent an email to the Saint Vincent Community, informing them that all classes and offices would operate virtually for that day. Some professors did hold class virtually, but others opted to cancel class outright.
Although snowplows had gone through the main streets by the morning of Jan 17., some students still had concerns with the maintenance of the streets, parking lots and walking paths, even days after the storm.
Christopher Bouye, junior biology major, observed several students fall, and almost fell himself, while navigating between buildings following the storm.
“The campus definitely could have done a better job at shoveling snow from the walkways and steps,” Bouye said.
During Jan. 17 and 18, staff were seen shoveling snow and salting walking paths, such as those leading from Saint Benedict Hall and Rooney Hall, and those between Alfred Hall and the Robert S. Carey Center.
Douglass E. Eppley, Director of Facilities, explained that the FMO grounds crew, directed by the FMO Grounds Supervisor, is responsible for salting sidewalks and plowing snow. When there is a heavier storm, as was the case during Jan. 17, the entire FMO staff, including custodians and tradesmen, work together to keep sidewalks clear.
“The Grounds Supervisor will also determine if and when outside companies need to be called to campus to provide assistance with plowing snow. We called two companies to help us plow during this storm,” Eppley said.
Caitlin Machuta, senior physics and mathematics major, lives in Aurelius Hall and must commute to a local high school for student teaching during the week. She described
dissatisfaction with the path leading to Lot S, as well as the lot itself, even after the storm had ceased and in-person classes had resumed.
“During the storm, I needed to get to my older vehicle, which already has car problems, to get to my job,” Machuta said. “I had to go through a path that was icy and snow-covered to a lot that was not shoveled or salted.”
Eppley acknowledged that keeping all sidewalks and streets open is an important goal, but that during heavier storms, paths need to be prioritized.
“Our top priority is to have a path from dorms to Carey, Dupre, Community Center and Alfred Hall,” he said. “There is also emphasis on the commuter parking lot, as well as faculty, staff and student parking lots.”
On Jan. 19, Danielle Hegyes, residence hall director, emailed the SVC community, requesting that people in Lot N move their cars so that snow could be cleared out.
Eppley said that these parking lot requests are scheduled on an as-needed basis, usually after a storm is finished.
According to The Weather Channel, the next winter storm, Jasper, is expected to sweep through the Southeast and the Midwest. As of Jan. 22, it remains to be seen if it will reach SVC.