By Nicole Taylor – 1851 Staff
Residents, commuters, and faculty are gearing up for another winter in New England with hopes it will not be like last year’s brutal season.
“Last winter was the worst in many, many years for Lasell College,” said Vice President of Business and Finance, Michael Hoyle. “Last year we spent about $353,000 to remove snow, which was twice as much as the previous year.”
Lasell’s plowing and maintenance team worked countless hours last year to remove and compact snow. They also spread bags upon bags of Snow Melt to minimize ice build-up. According to Hoyle, Lasell has already ordered a massive amount of Snow Melt in preparation for this winter.
Campus Police played a huge role in keeping campus safe. “We monitor the weather reports carefully and then develop action plans according to the needs of the college based on the outlook for the storms,” said Captain Chris Pacheco.
The storms were continuous last year causing discontent and restlessness. “Our officers ate, slept, and lived in the police station for three days at a stretch during each of the storms,” said Pacheco. Campus Police is developing and evolving their responses to weather emergencies to be even more prepared than last year.
This winter, the main concern of Campus Police is parking availability during storms. “Parking is at a premium, and we have only limited places to put vehicles during these types of emergencies,” said Pacheco.
Commuters took a harder blow than residents. For a span of time, public transportation was unavailable, causing an inconvenience to those coming from the city. “I would have to leave my house at 5:45 in the morning, anticipating the delays and breakdowns,” said senior commuter Yoldie Rock.
Boston public transportation was not equipped for the winter that hit New England. Rock was in favor of the cancellations last year. “I’d rather class be canceled, than go through the trouble to stand in the cold for an hour to get to a class I had no hope of making in time,” she said.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Jim Ostrow acknowledged the commuters who faced the harsh weather conditions. “Faculty should be understanding…we don’t want [students] to do anything unsafe,” he said.
Most students are connected to the emergency text message notification system, but Pacheco hopes more students will add themselves to the system because of how frequently it is used before, during, and after major snow events. He urges students to pay attention to the instructions given by local authorities and college officials via email and text.
With the collaboration of all departments involved in winter storms, Lasell is ready for whatever the upcoming winter delivers. It is the small steps, improvements, and preparation that will make getting through this winter possible.