Students prepare for winter weather

Taylor Richards – News Writer

Thanks to El Niño, there has hardly been any snow this winter season. Temperatures are finally starting to cool and snow is building up in the near future. Spring semester is synonymous with school closures and snowy roads, and commuters are already preparing for the unpredictable Connecticut winters.

“I have an overnight bag in my locker here in the student center, just in case there’s a storm and I can’t drive home,” said Kevin Redline, interdisciplinary studies, who commutes 40 minutes from Middlebury. “I have friends that live on campus who welcomed me overnight just in case anything happens. I also keep a blanket in my car if it ever breaks down on the highway.”

Redline advises other students with a long commute like his to always keep fresh oil and a full tank of gas. Even though he thinks it’s important to stay prepared, others think Southern administrators should be more cautious in the winter. Paulina Gomez, junior, always leaves early when there’s snow on the radar. Although she prepares as well as she can, Gomez said she wishes students could be notified sooner of closures.

“I’ve driven to school a few times just to get an email saying that class was canceled,” she said. “It’s annoying and hazardous to be out there in the first place. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Caitlin Bunegru, sophomore, also has a long daily commute from Naugatuck. Her parents had been driving her to class for a few years until she got her license in October. She said that she’s nervous about driving in the snow. Her main concern for the winter is her professors’ strict policies on tardiness.

“Commuters shouldn’t be blamed so harshly by professors for being late if there’s a storm or just bad weather in general,” said Bunegru. “It’s hard enough getting through unplowed roads and traffic, then you have to find a parking spot. Students on campus definitely have the advantage because they can just get up and walk to class.”

Redline has similar sentiments to Bunegru. He thinks that some towns around Southern are better at keeping roads clean than others, so professors should allow a 15 to 20 minute grace period for students to arrive to class during snowstorms. He said that it’s “the best” when professors take the initiative and cancel class on their own terms if they think the roads are too dangerous for themselves or their students.

Students like Gomez think that Southern should be doing a better job at keeping the campus cleared of ice as well, since she slipped on the bridge last winter and “ended up in the hospital.” However, she did acknowledge that there was an overload of snow and ice last year.

Redline said he thinks SCSU does a good job of keeping the roads and sidewalks clear; better than highways like Route 63 that he regularly takes to get to class.

“[Southern] has those little plow tractors just for the sidewalks; I think that’s great,” said Redline. “They’re always good about keeping parking lots cleared too.”

Photo Credit: Staff Photo


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