Students rejoiced at the news of a nearly three-day break from classes due to snow, but a significant amount of staff members continued to work, even spending Tuesday night on campus.
“They [had] cots at Markin [Center] just in case,” said Maintenance Department employee Tlummer Williams. “This is the worst I’ve seen in 19 years of employment here. We had to get campus secured and make sure everyone is safe.”
The maintenance staff was not the only department to remain on campus overnight. In preparation for the blizzard, University Police Lt. Troy Eeten said there were arrangements for officers to stay in Wendel Hall.
“We [were] relying on officers that live close by if we needed assistance,” he said. “The main issue [was] having the appropriate staffing. We wanted to have a minimum of three officers on staff at any given time.”
Eeten said members of the day shift packed bags in case they had to spend the night.
“We also have three SUV’s available for use if need be,” he said.
Eeten said the most snow he had ever witnessed while working for the past 24 years was about a foot.
“We [hadn’t] seen a forecast like this before,” he said.
Officers said by Tuesday morning they had already seen several vehicle accidents.
“We [didn’t] know what to expect and had to be prepared for any type of service call,” Sgt. Rick Hutchison said.
In addition, dining services staff had sleeping arrangements at the St. James apartment complex.
“They had places to stay at St. James, but I only live two blocks away so some workers stayed with me,” said dining services staff member Ariana Maloy. “We got out of work around 8:30 p.m. [Tuesday] but didn’t get out of here until 10 because we had to help people that had gotten stuck in the snow.”
Even though this is one of the worst storms seen at Bradley, Maloy said the storm had a silver lining.
“It was nice to see people come together and help each other out,” she said.
Eeten said heavy snow tends to halt Peoria roads and businesses.
“If we surpass the 12 inch mark, things in the city slow down significantly,” he said. “But life still goes on for the students. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Associate Vice President for Communications Shelley Epstein said the campus handled the storm as planned.
“People present on campus did a phenomenal job,” he said. “The grounds crew, police department, radio station, food services, they all did great. And we were able to get Geisert [cafeteria] open by noon on [Wednesday], which was really good.”
Snow day protocol begins with a number of assessments, Epstein said.
“Facilities [department] is here at 4 a.m. and they take a look at the forecast,” he said. “There were discussions Sunday and Monday, and meetings Monday night. At 8 a.m. Tuesday, there was a cabinet meeting held.”
Epstein said university President Joanne Glasser has the final say, but Provost David Glassman weighs in heavily on the decision as well.
Students will not have to make up classes missed from the snow days, he said.