On Tuesday, the Office of Communications published a news bulletin announcing that the National Weather Service issued an alert for a multi-day winter storm that will impact the Central, Eastern and Southern United States until Friday morning. The storm was predicted to begin Wednesday evening with rain that is expected to transition into heavy snowfall and freezing rain throughout Thursday.
The bulletin detailed the steps the College has taken in anticipation of this storm warning, specifically in the event of a power outage. Should the campus lose power, Peirce Dining Hall will remain open, and residence halls will retain heat “for a long period of time.”
Gambier is no stranger to large snowstorms causing power outages. Since 2018, there have been several major power outages on campus. In November of 2020, a severe thunderstorm caused the campus to lose power, causing an internet shutdown for several hours and long lines at Peirce during a quiet period. Two years prior, two power outages on consecutive days resulted in class cancellations, as students rushed to the generator-powered Kenyon Bookstore to charge their devices.
In its bulletin, the College said that classes will continue as scheduled unless professors choose otherwise. Given the transition to online learning throughout the pandemic, the virtual setting has become a secondary method of instruction in emergency circumstances. As a result, some professors have opted to conduct classes remotely on Thursday, a reminder of how COVID-19 has impacted inclement weather’s effect on education. The hope of a potential snow day among children has all but disappeared with the advent of remote learning, doing away with some of the excitement that a large snowstorm brings.
The Office of Campus Safety also sent an email to the campus community on Wednesday announcing that faculty parking lots are closed for student parking all day on Thursday and Friday to ensure faculty and staff have sufficient parking options for their commute to campus.
Despite this announcement, the Office of Communications discourages the community from using vehicles during the storm, regardless of their traction system.
“While we hope the storm will pass with minimal disruption; please heed these precautions, use good judgment, look out for one another and be safe,” the email read.