Campus Safety in Winter
By Kiara Hagan
Many students on campus have cars as transportation, but for some students walking and other things (bike, scooter, etc.) are the only options. This winter SU has gotten some of the coldest weather it’s ever seen. With temperatures lower than 20 degrees and snow fall almost each week, these weather conditions make it hard for students who don’t drive to get to and around campus safely. Icy roads, sidewalks, and heavy snow are all things that can make it unsafe for students to get to campus.
I sat down with Barry Schnoor, director of utilities to discuss how students who don’t have mobile transportation can get to and around campus safely. He started off by saying that the first step of safety for students is a meeting with the “Weather Team” which includes – Vice President, Provost, Director of Public Safety, Auxiliary Services, senior administrator for the satellite at the Scholar plaza and PCPH locations, and himself.
The weather team looks at the events that being held that day and the day after and decide if they are still happening. “There may be a basketball game, lacrosse game or a theater production so sometimes the athletic director from SU and the other school have to decide if it’s safe for either team to travel to the game same with the conservatory” said Schnoor. He also said that they try to make the decision about closings and cancellation the evenings before the next day. Schnoor gave two websites and two physical forms of help that he and his team look at when deciding the safety of students, “students can look at the websites as well, they’re plenty of them”.
- Virginia State Police – On Campus
- Department of Public Safety – Shenandoah University
When speaking with Schnoor he also said that deciding these decisions are difficult because “we still have a university to run”. “Sometimes I wake up at 4 am and go outside to see for myself what the weather is like from there I text my staff and let them know”. When deciding the safety of the students, SU also has to consider the staff. Most of the SU staff doesn’t live close so even if campus is safe in certain conditions the road and different counties circumstances have to be taken in to account as well. “We don’t always get it right”, said Schnoor.
The safety of the entire University is not an easy job, but procedures like these are what helps students and faculty to remain safe on and off campus.