Mother Nature continues to unload snow, ice on students and facilities

The statue between McKnight Hall and Schmucker Hall expresses his feelings about the snow. Photo Credit: Gettysburg College Photo Stream

The statue between McKnight Hall and Schmucker Hall expresses his feelings about the snow. Photo Credit: Gettysburg College Photo Stream

By Margarita Delgado, News Editor

Though the holiday season gets farther and farther behind us, the weather outside has decided to remain frightful.

Students can be seen walking gingerly to class on salted pathways or trudging heartily through once grassy areas that are now covered in snow. Brutal winds barge between buildings like College Union Building and Plank Gym and form wind tunnels that make getting that 8 a.m. Bullet Hole breakfast sandwich even harder.

The forecast for this week is promising, however; very little or no snow is predicted and the temperature is alleged to dip below ten de- grees only once. Suspicious, weather-worn students may be skeptical of this needed break but facilities workers remain hopeful.

The winter of 2014 is setting records all across the United States, let alone the Keystone State. At the same time, over forty-seven states reported having snow within their statelines.

CBS Philadelphia reports a whopping total of 58.4 inches of snow this season alone. Officials are calling this the third snowiest winter Philadelphia has ever seen.

Gettysburg has not reached those heights yet but has experienced enough snow to get in the way of daily life. The Red Cross was forced to cancel several blood drives in Southern and Central Pennsylvania.

Punxsutawny Phil himself declared six more weeks of winter this past Groundhog’s Day when he saw his shadow. Like many of us wishing that we had the freedom to do so, Punxsutawney Phil made himself scarce and dove back into his hole-in-the-ground home from when he came.

“This definitely has been one of our more trying winters of the past ten years,” stated Eric Richardson, Grounds Supervisor.

“It’s up there with the winter of 2010, ‘Snowmaggedon.’ It’s actually a little worse because it has been tedious to keep up with all of the weather events.”

Mr. Richardson counts eighteen snow/ice events for the campus since the first big snow storm that happened over the first week of December, last semester. Unfortunately for Mr. Richardson and the rest of the facilities staff, the previously mentioned and often cited groundhog Punxatawny Phil himself declared more weeks of winter this past Groundhog’s Day when he saw his shadow.

“We have used quite a lot of salt [for pathways] in comparison to recent years,” said Richardson.

Some students on cam- pus are dissatisfied with the actions taken on campus to combat the weather.

“We need to have better plans for responses to weather on campus,” said senior Kathleen Hoffman. “The services just aren’t up to par. It’s a pattern- they don’t do enough. If it’s not snow, it’s floods or something else.”

Others on campus disagree, saying that they feel their treks to class are made much easier by the continual efforts from Richardson and his staff. However, one thing everyone can agree on is that the Herculean efforts made by the facilities in keeping students safe and capable of going to class and other activities.

“A lot of good people are working hard and tirelessly to clear the campus,” commented Mr. Richard- son about the determined facilities workers students see plowing, shoveling and salting all around campus. “They’re really doing a tremendous job.”

Next time you find yourself walking across campus to that class that was not canceled but totally should have been, thank a facility worker for the work they do to try to keep the campus as accessible as possible. The weather certainly will not.

For more information about inclimate weather in the area or the status of the College, contact the facilities department or watch your inbox for an e-mail from Paul Redfern.

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Author: Brendan Raleigh

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