Kent State does its best to clear snow off sidewalks

Andrew Phillips

Disabled students have a harder time getting around campus during the winter

Amy Price, rehabilitation counseling graduate student, uses a motorized wheelchair. She lives on campus, and even though her upbeat attitude isn’t deterred by the weather, Price admits it’s much harder to get around campus during winter.

“Certain areas are better, like around the library, but the sidewalks less traveled aren’t,” Price said. “Sometimes snow trucks will accidentally plow mounds of snow, which covers the access to ramps.”

Heather White, grounds manager of Campus Environment and Operations, is in charge of clearing the snow on campus. Her department combats the snow-covered sidewalks and university roads with 1,200 tons of rock salt per winter.

“We do pay special attention to making sure handicap ramps are clear of snow and slush,” White said in an e-mail interview. “Groundskeepers know where the handicap ramps in their area are located, and it is during this time of year we change our hours to come in an hour earlier to get a jump on snow removal on all campus walks.”

PARTA is another department Kent State uses to help disabled students get to their classes.

“I’m grateful for PARTA,” Price said. “I like to be adventurous during the rest of the year, but I have to surrender to the bus during the winter.”

There are 88 designated areas spread across campus for PARTA to pick up or drop off students with disabilities.

“The stops for students with disabilities are designed close to the exit doors so they don’t have to walk far,” said Karolina Duda, operations supervisor for the campus division of PARTA.

PARTA, which has a contract to work with Kent State, has two bus services: a county service that picks up disabled students if they live off campus and another bus service that drives only on campus.

The Student Accessibility Transportation Services, which is student-run, drives the buses, also known as light transit vehicles.

In order to get picked up, students must fill out a registration form. They can go online or to the SAS office, located on the ground floor of the DeWeese Health Center.

Price says that Kent State does the best they can do to clear off the sidewalks.

“Considering the size and population of the campus and all the snow we get, it would be hard for anyone,” Price said.

Contact buildings and grounds reporter Andrew Phillips at

[email protected].