As a student waking up to the Valentine’s Day snowstorm, I had two reactions: “Yes! No class!” and “How am I going to leave my dorm to eat? What if I need to go somewhere?” I am not interested in trekking through the snow as if I am an intrepid explorer in a remote, snowy region of the world.
As I was worrying, A&F was jumping into action. More than 125 individuals made their way to campus during the storm, employing snowplows, shovels and snowblowers to make the campus safe to traverse. Approximately 19 inches of snow blanketed the walkways and roads on our 328-acre campus, so the job was no small task. It required a combined 6,500 man hours over a period of just five days.
Snow removal does not slow when TU is closed or when it’s a weekend. Walkways must be cleared quickly so students can get to dining halls; accommodations must be made for weekend events. And this all must happen while staff focuses on preparing the main campus to reopen. In the wake of the Valentine’s Day snowstorm, A&F staff had to quickly prepare SECU Arena and the surrounding parking lots for two weekend basketball games and a gymnastics meet, plus relocate campus buses and equip them with a supplemental power supply to keep their engine blocks warm.
“It was extremely challenging to handle while trying to open campus at the same time,” said Landscape Services Manager Paul Thomas. “Many people think all we did was remove snow but life on campus does not stop just because of a storm.”
The need for mail delivery also doesn’t stop because of a storm–and this storm just happened to fall during Postal Services’ busiest time of the year. Knowing that many students were expecting flowers and other perishable packages for Valentine’s Day, the Postal Services team jumped into action. Their office is typically closed on weekends, but Erin Durange, Dave Hahn, Lori Frantz, Leslie Lewis, Ron Clark, Valerie Brown and Terry Mullen came in the Saturday after the storm to process 491 packages. Thanks to their work, students were able to receive gifts from loved ones and see their Valentine’s Day flowers while they were still fresh–things that mean a lot to students who are away from home.
The A&F employees who put the needs of the student body and campus life ahead of their own personal comfort should be both thanked and recognized. I was especially grateful for the timely snow removal when I needed to eat breakfast, and I am sure that other students were grateful when they received their Valentine’s Day gifts. The efforts of these individuals aptly represent the hard work of A&F employees, and I am not surprised that these individuals stepped up to the plate when it mattered most.
What did you do during the snowstorm? Share with us in the comments section below!
Written by Tyler New