The first of (hopefully) many snow days this semester came on Feb. 22. The 289 tree-lined acres of the College’s suburban Ewing Township campus were transformed into a magical winter wonderland dotted with snowmen, igloo forts and snow caterpillars.
Many students enjoyed their day off from class in true College spirit. They either slept in late, had snow fights with each other or innocent bystanders and/or started drinking at noon. Aside from the obvious dangers of getting hit in the face by a rogue snowball or rolling your ankle in the snow so badly you couldn’t walk the next day, there was another, potentially more perilous snow-related issue: poorly maintained walkways.
That fateful Friday morn, after having awoken at the crack of noon, I noticed the all-too familiar rumbles in the tumbles – hunger pangs, if you will. I took it upon myself to make the trek from Townhouses East (The Fillmore East, as we residents of house seven call it) to Eickhoff Hall. Desiring something delicious and nutritious to feed the need, I probably should have reconsidered my choice, but the decision had been made.
I emerged from the townhouse with naught but the idea of a meal in my stomach. To my dismay, although not so much my surprise, the path through the townhouses had nothing but a few tire tracks through the snow. No plow, no shovel, no salt and no sign saying “Watch out! It’s slippery because no one thought it a good idea to provide pedestrians with a relatively safe path to walk through.” Nothing.
Without the proper gear of tennis racquets to strap to my sneakers, a sled or a sick pair of man Uggs, I decided to brave the venture anyway. I had hardly made it halfway to Metzger Drive when my ninja-like reflexes kicked in to prevent me from busting my ass on a slick patch of icy treachery.
As I made my way past the Decker Hall parking garage and continued up the path toward the tennis courts, I encountered even more slushy mayhem. In the event that any sort of maintenance had been done to these paths, it didn’t amount to much.
I would have thought the College’s groundskeeping squad would have jumped at the chance to actually use their new little fancy green John Deere go-cart with a mini-plow attached to the front. I guess I was wrong.
Outside of Eickhoff was no better. Piles of dirty snow mush and melty runoff did not contribute to the exhilarating experience of having made this futile journey.
I don’t blame the maintenance squad for the horrid walkway conditions that day; they were probably playing in the snow too. If anything or anyone is responsible for this anti-plow, anti-salt incident it is a gross lack of leadership. Ron Paul wouldn’t have let this happen. Ever.