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University prepares for upcoming winter season

Winter season is upon us and the University is gearing up to prepare for the snow.

According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, there aren’t currently any factors that are “standing out” to suggest that this winter will be worse than last year’s record-breaking one, but that hasn’t stopped the University’s Campus Services in preparing for the snowfall.

“We have a lot of equipment turnover, meaning a lot of our machines are capable of helping us in both the warm and the cold months,” said Director for Campus Services Andrea Depinet.

The Campus Services Ground Crew has to clear snow on over 33 miles of sidewalk and four miles of roadways on campus during the winter. Some of the equipment used in clearing snow includes plows on trucks and front-end loaders.

They also use stakes to mark where sidewalks and roadways are and use deicers to remove snow from entrance ways of campus buildings.

Campus Services have also made some adjustments this year that will better prepare them for snowfall, including implementing walkie-talkies to all the team members and teaming up with an organization that provides national weather data to the University.

“Before, we would watch the news and keep an eye on the National Weather Service to get information on the weather, but it wasn’t always spot-on,” Depinet said.

This new system will provide much more accurate weather information that will better allow the campus to be better prepared, Depinet said.

“We are also working on installing TVs in the garages and where other members of the University work to display this new weather data so that it’s easier to stay in the loop,” Depinet said.

Since there isn’t enough information currently to tell whether the upcoming winter will be colder than last year’s, it’s unclear whether the University will have to cancel classes like they did last winter. The current cancellation policy states campus will only close when Wood County declares a Level 3 Snow Emergency for the area.

However, junior Chris Starace does think that there are some things the University can do to become more mindful for when there are hazardous weather conditions.

“I think they just need to have more caution for people’s health hazards. I live off-campus and if I can’t get a place to park, then I have to walk and I don’t think that’s always necessarily safe in the winter,” Starace said.

Starace did have one idea on what the University should do to make going to class and campus easier for students.

“I think changing the time of use on campus parking lots would really help,” Starace said. “Changing the time from 7:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. would really help for those that have late classes and don’t want to have to walk. Or they could open up more parking lots to students during the winter, or even when it just gets really cold.”

Since it remains to be seen what kind of weather winter is going to bring, Depinet offered a final piece of advice for students waling to class.

“Just bundle up,” Depinet said.

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