A Monday night winter storm left campus sidewalks and roads covered in sheets of ice. Despite slick conditions, classes continued as normal.
Early Tuesday morning, the Bradley University Twitter account posted, “Campus is open and classes are in session today (3/3/2015). Due to icy conditions please use caution while traveling on and off campus.”
Students and employees also took to social media to voice their concerns about safety issues while walking or driving to classes, concerns that were seemingly well-founded according to comments from Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna.
“Our grounds routine for salt application were not as effective today as expected, and our execution did not meet our standards,” Anna said. “While the main roads were very driveable and safe, the side streets and walks were hazardous. Our crews, as appropriate, first concentrated on parking lots, and an equipment failure complicated our follow up on walkways. Thus, our walks were not treated as timely as we expected.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas said although his office does not have a say in decisions like these, he thinks students should take it on a case-by-case basis and figure out what is safest for them as individuals.
“I can tell you we’ve received a number of phone calls from students both on and off campus,” Thomas said. “I think the most important thing here is that people need to make good decisions and do what they need to do in order to be safe, either walking to class or even if that means staying at home and figuring out ways to make up their work as it’s appropriate.”
Student Senate Vice President of Campus Affairs Alex Estes said he was not pleased with the university’s response to the winter weather.
“I’m honestly surprised how awful Bradley hasn’t salted the sidewalks and that classes weren’t postponed due to the ice storm we received last night,” he said.
Weather conditions for the week are expected to improve, according to the National Weather Service. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are forecasted as sunny with highs of 15 degrees, 18 degrees and 36 degrees respectively.
As a Bradley student, I am floored but the lack of precautions taken to fully address the serve winter weather this season. Central Illinois is not new to this type of weather, ice and snow are regular winter occurrences in this region. I don’t understand how Bradley, a well established Central Illinois institution, could not be prepared for this winter season. Despite machine failures, there are other ways to effectively salt sidewalks. Likewise, class cancelations are sometimes very appropriate. I personally saw someone be transported to OSF due to a head injury that was sustained by falling on the sidewalk. All this leads me to wonder, where is it that our high tuition rates go to? Personally, I feel that the safety of Bradley students should be highest priority.
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