Aw Hail No: A Reflection on a Relentless Winter

Trudging across the green. Photo by Karam Sethi.

It’s happening again: we wake up and realize that our campus has been freshly whitewashed yet another time with a coat of snow (or in today’s case, freezing-slushpuppy rain). I don’t remember the last time weather has frustrated me so much; piles of black-tinged snow compressed on the sides of roads reveal the slick surface of invisible ice on the asphalt. The dorm floors are sputtered with salt formations and our boots drag disgusting salty/sandy/wet shoe fluid wherever we walk (yet the doormat leading into my room has been taken away twice by the custodial staff). On top of all of this, I am injured. As a result, I have to navigate the Iditarod-like geography of Conn by keeping my gaze fixed on the ground to make sure I don’t take a comical Charlie Brown Christmas special plop. So I ask the campus community and administrators, what do we do with all of this snow?

President Higdon recently joked during a KB common room centennial event that he was going to start storing the snow in our dorms if it kept adding up—something I took very, very seriously. It seems far-fetched, but if snowmageddon keeps rearing its ugly head on the east coast, where else will it go? Could Conn use all of this new building material and introduce an arctic studies igloo smack dab in the middle of the green? Should our campus employ a snowmadilla alert rating system instead of this hoopla about digital signage? Should we all loosen up and have a snowball fight for ten minutes until it’s not fun anymore? And how does the school manage to get officially closed down yet professors are able to hold classes at their own discretion? Would it make more sense to just cancel classes for the semester?

I asked a friendly Physical Planter outside my dorm about the snow policy on this campus. I caught him in the middle of shoveling mounds of salt on the entranceway steps to combat the ice. He informed me that Physical Plant tends to place the snow where it is most convenient, which is perfectly valid. They put the snow in places with ample drainage and avoid piling it in places that would inhibit drivers’ vision. We can only applaud and be grateful for their efforts in trying to keep up with this madness.

The snow is tearing this college apart at the seams. Every single day is a new icy hell, a day of uncertainty and terror about which direction the wind will blow while I walk south, or how many cardigan sweaters I should bundle to effectively beat the cold but at the same time remain dapper as hell. The worst part is the lack of progress. Though we have officially entered February and thus ushered in spring (sort of), there is still snow everywhere! I would venture to say that the bottom of all of these snow piles has not changed since we have returned. Bikes are buried on campus like it’s Pompeii; gravel lot looks like a feedlot. Cro changed its name to Sno. I don’t even want to see the stratification of cigarette butts after this frost dissipates. We are all in danger of breaking our backs or having just enough snow seep into our boots to make the rest day worth crying over. Is it realistic to ask that we just employ some Bics and cans of Raid and evaporate it? It would only do so much good; snowlocaust will merely sweep over us again in a wintry, dysnowpian frenzy.
The snow will keep piling and piling and piling and piling. The bottom line is there is nothing we can do and we are all going to die. •