This year’s winter season has been brutal. For Midwesterners, the colder months bring loads of snow and a lot of windburn.
Just like the city of Edwardsville or St. Louis, the SIUE community expects the powers that be to clear pathways, parking lots and walking trails as needed.
Yet, this year, the university seemed to have issues keeping up with the inclement weather due to a lack of resources, and some of the responsibility was put on the shoulders of students.
According to the National Weather Service, from Jan. 11 to Jan. 13, Edwardsville got 7.7 inches of snow, and Facilities Management worked around the clock to keep the campus clear of snow and ice. However, this became difficult and potentially threatened the safety of students.
When some of the parking lots were plowed, large piles of snow were left on the corners of intersections, making it difficult to see oncoming traffic. With the onset of class, this proved hazardous, especially with a constant flow of people driving to and from campus.
Snow and ice already increase the potential for accidents, and the obstructions brought on by the piles of snow only made the chances for an accident higher.
Once the snowing had stopped, it started melting but refroze, and on Jan. 14, students received an email from Facilities Management acknowledging that melted ice and snow was refreezing around campus and that if students came upon a slick spot, they needed to report it.
Once again, a possible threat emerged for students — not only that of crashing but also of slipping as they walked to their first days of classes. Sometimes, ice can be seen before people come upon it, but at other times, it can be impossible to see until they are sliding around on it and possibly getting injured.
The safety and health of students should be among the university’s top priorities but their concern seemed to fall through the cracks when dealing with the snow and ice. We at The Alestle feel that clearing this ice should’ve been more of a priority. However, we do realize this may be a lofty goal for a facilities management department on a tight budget.
SIUE needs to be doing something — whether it be allocating more money or even raising student fees slightly — so they can properly deal with these weather events and perhaps be able to hire more seasonal staff for the times when the likelihood of snow is high before SIUE gets sued for the injury of a student or faculty member due to the inadequate clearance.
When SIUE falls short, students shouldn’t be afraid to raise their concern to the university because safety comes first. If they come across ice, the should report it. They should also let the university know that they are concerned about the way that ice and snow are being managed.