With an unprecedented amount of snowfall this winter, the task of its removal and clean up was undertaken by combined efforts of the Grounds Department, Public Safety and the Communications Office. Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Kate Kenny, said that her role was that of a messenger, while the grounds crew undertook the snow removal. Public Safety ensured a safe clean up and that shovels would be available for students with vehicles. Yet, some students were inconvenienced due to the clearance of certain parking lots for snow removal.
A student said that shoveling out her car was difficult and finding another parking spot was problematic. Another student felt that she had not been given enough time to remove her car and while she appreciated the snow shovels provided by Public Safety, she did not know that they were available. Another student said, “I know the Wheaton staff are working really hard and I appreciate that. I see those guys clearing the snow all night outside my window.” The student also said that digging out her car three times a week was troublesome but not the responsibility of the college.
Grounds Manager, Stephen Kelly, said that the safety of students was their most important concern. He also said that when dealing with this type of weather, there was nothing that the college could do that would be able to improve the process or situation. “A lot of people don’t realize what goes into it. Every building house structure has numerous entrance and stairways, those have to be opened up and shoveled. It’s an extremely daunting task that takes a lot of work.”
On the efforts of his team, Kelly said, “I have over thirty-five years of experience as a snow removal professional and I can say, without a doubt, that there is not a finer group than the one we have here doing snow removal at Wheaton.” He said that this was especially true considering that a season’s average snowfall fell in just one week. Kelly commented that these five snow events in just nine days meant that the two week clearing process which included widening, clearing the snow, moving cars and cleaning, had to be expedited.
Furthermore, Kelly appreciated the cooperation of students with the removal of every single car in Lot 1 when prompted. Dean Kenny echoed this sentiment by saying, “We appreciate the assistance of students with cars on campus, and their friends who assisted them with digging out, in responding and cooperating with the plans to clear the lots. It really takes everyone working together in situations like this.”