Bad weather affects campus life

Last Monday night, students frantically checked their e-mail awaiting a message from the University or from professors informing them of the cancellation of their Tuesday classes due to the harsh weather conditions. But to the dismay of many Denison students, these e-mails never came.

Sophomore Max Kelly from Highland Park, Ill., said, “As much as I would have wanted to have no classes, no one has to walk too long to be in danger.”

According to the Granville Exempted Village Schools, all schools in Granville were closed “due to the frigid winter chill predicted for Tuesday, Jan. 28.” Ohio State University and Kenyon College, which are both located about 45 minutes away from Denison and experienced similar weather conditions, also closed their institutions as a result of the poor weather conditions. Ohio Wesleyan and the College of Wooster, however, did not close their classes for the day either.

Laurel Kennedy, vice president for student development, said in an e-mail that the administration did not close classes because they believed “students could safely travel the distance from their residence halls to the dining halls and to classes if they had classes that morning, [and] many students have no Tuesday morning classes.

Despite the anticipation of cold wind chills reported by local Granville schools for closing classes, Kennedy said, “although temperatures were low, there was no wind chill, and the roads were not icy.” Students who live in the Homestead, however, were provided with transportation to campus because they live so far away. Kennedy said, “we provided morning shuttles on both Tuesday and Wednesday for Homesteaders, since the distance they have to walk is more significant.”

As the week went on, however, students began experiencing lasting impacts of the harsh conditions mixed with the participation that occurred earlier in the week. Students, for example, traversing East Quad walked mainly over ice until they reached Chapel Walk. Areas of ice on the stairs were also an issue for students travelling to south quad and into town later in the week.

Sophomore Phillip Knox from Champagne, Ill., for example, slipped on ice and badly sprained his ankle on Friday Jan. 31 while travelling to the Mulberry House in Sorority Circle. He said, “being on crutches in this weather is a nightmare.”He continued, “I have fallen and re-injured my already severely sprained ankle twice now as a result of slipping on the ice, and I was just getting something to eat in Huffman.”

But even though the ice conditions were bad on campus, especially at the end of the week, he said, “this is by no means Huffman, security or the administration’s fault, but I believe that someone should know the protocol in a situation like this.

Taking note of the weather issues Granville and surrounding areas have seen in the past couple weeks, Kennedy said, “we’ll look at this going forward, since weather volatility seems to be becoming the ‘new normal.’”

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