To everyone that started celebrating Spring a tad bit too early, I want you all to know I am blaming you personally for this last snowfall. The weather does not like it when you talk about the changing seasons, so this is clearly punishment for hoping for spring. Now, do not get me wrong, snow is pretty and all when you are not busy. You can curl up in your bed to watch it fall through the window. Making snowmen is fun, and sledding downhill is one of the greatest joys in life. However, it is all fun and games until you have to walk to the train station and the sidewalks are completely covered in icy death. All of these recent nor’easters have created dangerous circumstances for students.
Although we are supposedly in the Spring semester, you would not realize that by looking outside. This semester we have had one snow day and a couple of delayed openings, at least during regular class weeks (aka, the big snowstorm during Spring Break does not count). But most Drewids agree that some of these delayed openings should have been snow days, period. It does not matter that professors are understanding of commuters that might have to skip a class or be late due to the snowy roads because these students are still at a disadvantage when they have to skip classes and the people living on campus do not. In addition, sometimes the paths are too icy to walk on, creating a danger to the students on campus. One student reported that she was on her way to her night class and almost fell on the patio of BC because it was too icy. And that’s not to mention falling tree branches!
The danger is not limited to the paths on Drew’s campus. Every day students, faculty and staff need to walk into Madison to take the train or bus. There are students with internships, commuters, professors coming from all different places and numerous participants of the New York semester. The general consensus is that Madison needs to be better at clearing off the sidewalks. It definitely is important to plow the streets and make sure that it is safe to drive. But it is essential that towns acknowledge that some people do not have cars at all, and that not having a clear sidewalk is just as dangerous as having icy roads. Pedestrians are forced to walk on the street or jaywalk from one side to the other in order to avoid giant piles of snow that were pushed out of the way for the cars.
Finally, and this is on all of us, it is incredibly important that we are more grateful towards the people that spend the night sprinkling salt and shoveling snow so that it is safe for us to walk back and forth to class. Snow does not disappear by some sort of miracle, it is hardworking people out in the coldest weather, and we need to be more grateful for them.
Graphic by Caroline Polich