By 10 a.m. Saturday morning, snow had begun falling on the greater Trenton region. In the course of the next 24 hours, between 13 and 16 inches of snow blanketed the College campus as two separate storms, the first significant ones of the season, pummeled the area.
The storms prompted acting governor Richard Codey to declare a state of emergency from 8 p.m. Saturday night to 8 a.m. Sunday morning. This gave police the authority to close roads to all non-emergency traffic.
As the storm bore down, local residents and College students alike flocked to Shop-Rite on Olden Avenue to stock up on supplies. Lines stretched far there and at Hollywood Video as people prepared to hunker down for the day.
Many students, however, opted not to risk the trip off-campus. “We both stayed in,” Sabrina Sichel, junior Spanish major, said, referring to herself and friend Bethany Blundell, junior sociology major. “We refused to leave the building.”
“I watched ‘Pretty in Pink’ and ‘The Face on the Milk Carton’ on TV,” Blundell said, laughing. “(My roommate) and I got so bored we decided to rearrange our room.”
The snow forced the postponement of all activities on campus for the weekend, as well as the closure of the Roscoe West Library on Saturday afternoon into Sunday. All dining facilities save for Eickhoff Dining Hall were closed as well.
As the worst of the storm died down on Saturday night, some students took the opportunity to go out and play in the snow. “Frolicking ensued that night,” Lindsay Korwin, sophomore music major, said. “We played snow football and went snowboarding on the hill by the new chapel.”
As the snow levels mounted, the office of Grounds and Landscape Maintenance Services went to work plowing roads and pathways throughout campus.
“We were here from Saturday at noontime until late evening (Sunday),” Dan Blauth, project specialist for the office of Grounds and Landscape Maintenance Services, said, noting that the plows had run almost continuously for a day. According to Blauth, the office employs eight plows for the job of clearing snow.
“I think it went well,” he said. “Of the 26 hours we were here, we worked for 23. If we don’t keep up with the storm, we’re finished, and with the amount of snow we had, I think we did very well.”
Although roads and parking lots on campus were mostly cleared by Monday morning, many off-campus roads were still slick, students said. “I just had to go down Pennington (Road) and it wasn’t good,” Ryan Patrick, freshman computer science major, said.
“I was nearly killed several times on the way to school,” Tom Simons, junior finance major, said. “It was a near-death experience.”
The condition of the roads prompted the closure of many area public schools. The College, however, was a notable exception.
“Of course I think they should’ve closed school,” Wexler said. “But I’m kind of biased.”
Matt Golden, assistant director for public information in the office of College and Community Relations, said the decision to stay open was made because snow ceased Sunday morning.
“We felt there was sufficient time for the roadways to be cleared, and the campus roadways are clear so students can have a safe commute to school,” he said.
Golden said most of the New Jersey state colleges were open Monday as well.