Wednesday, Feb. 10, as the snow piled down hard at Case Western Reserve University, little seemed to be done in an effort to prevent the immediate effects it would have on campus. As I trudged through the slush covering all the walkways and streets on campus, I was perplexed as to why these dangerous conditions continued to persist throughout the day. I figured surely something would be done about the conditions at hand in a timely manner.
Unfortunately I was wrong.
While it was certainly a great annoyance having to walk through slippery pathways with little to no visibility, I found the general lack of safety to be the greater issue. It wouldn’t take much for someone to be seriously injured by either falling or an automobile accident.
While some people may have remained unhindered, the lack of clear pathways presented a substantial accessibility issue to students, faculty and staff who may be encumbered by a disability. The lack of urgency involved in responding to the conditions brought on by the snow is a bit worrisome, as it makes me wonder how a situation would have been handled if things were drastically worse.
Eventually the vast amount of slush was taken care of, but the swiftness by which action was taken was certainly lackluster. Obviously CWRU’s location means that it is subject to some of the harshest winter weather in the country. This is not, however, a sufficient excuse to take to avoid basic action such as pre-salting sidewalks and walkways, something that didn’t occur last week.
The fact remains that more preparation and effort could have been involved in responding to the hazardous conditions Feb. 10. Although part of the responsibility rests with the students to exercise caution when such conditions come about, I believe that a disproportionate burden is being placed on us when more could be done to handle the situation by others.
Aside from this one instance, the response to snow conditions has generally been strong. This week, nothing near the scale of the problem encountered Feb. 10 has arisen.
I am hoping no such complications will occur again. With the weather being as unaccommodating as it is, I commend everyone who works so hard to keep the CWRU campus safe and accessible, as I would imagine it is not an easy task to do so.
Austin Stroud is a first-year student and bi-weekly opinion columnist at The Observer.