by Lauren Eller
Take the path less traveled: every Kenyon student has to take that advice literally and walk in the snow in order to avoid slipping on the slick pathways crisscrossing campus. Icy surfaces are consistently an issue during the winter months, but Middle Path in particular has been treacherous.
Director of Campus Safety Bob Hooper said that iced-over walkways have always been a problem on campus in the winter. “It’s just been something we’ve struggled with,” he said. “I think with the added-on sidewalks in the last number of years [it] just gives everybody more area that needs to be covered.”
He was in conversation with Buildings and Grounds about to how to remedy the situation. “I was talking with [Buildings and] Grounds … [and] all of us that have a part or responsibility in this are going to all sit down and see if we can [come] up with a more efficient way to deal with it,” he said.
As for calls received by Campus Safety, Hooper reported that there have not been many. “We’ve had a few people that have called,” he said. “Everybody’s kind of taken the necessary precautions.” He confirmed that this has been more or less the case in previous years: “Mostly minor,” he said. “Every once in a while you can get that. But that happens everywhere.”
Dan Johnson ’15, chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, explained the apparent lack of salt to Kenyon not being one of the first locations to receive it. “So the reason there’s a lack of salt is just because salt’s rationed around the state of Ohio,” he said. “It goes through the towns first and then we kind of get whatever isn’t allocated. There’s been a salt shortage the entire year, it’s something we’ve known about and [are] just kind of working to deal with.”
Hooper said that although salt has been in high demand lately, there should be no problem getting more. “Everybody’s had to use quite a bit of salt,” he said. Kyla Spencer ’18, who sprained her ankle at an ice rink off campus a few weeks ago and was on crutches for a while, said that getting around campus was often tricky and that she fell a few times due to the ice. “For the first couple days when it was like really, really icy … my crutches would be wet and then everyone’s shoes would be wet from the ice … and one time my crutches just slipped out from underneath me [in Peirce] and I just hit the ground,” she said. She did not sustain further injuries from her falls on campus.
Campus Safety as well as Buildings and Grounds is making efforts to reduce the ice on campus with the resources available, such as a mixure of beet juice as a de-icer, though some pathways inevitably remain treacherous.