What a mess!

Tim Magaw

Kent State struggles to keep walkways, roads cleared in time for school

Akron student Shawan Petrarca shovels off his windshield outside his apartment in Holly Park. Petrarca said he and his girlfriend were trying to get to a Valentine’s Day dinner. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

Slippery roads, buried walkways, untouched classrooms and empty offices were common sights on campus yesterday. Classes were canceled, and the university requested only essential employees report to work.

“There were parts of the campus walkways, especially stairs and other things, that were not clear,” said David Creamer, senior vice president for administration. “Many of the roads in and around the Kent area were impassable.”

The university’s ground crew worked through the night to clear the paths, but snowfall was too heavy. The decision to cancel classes was made at around 4:30 a.m. yesterday, and notices were posted online and sent to TV and radio stations, Creamer said.

Katie Dougans, sophomore international relations major, said she had trouble walking around campus because of the snowy walkways, but she thought it was fun.

“Who cares if it’s difficult to walk?” she said. “We all need a little exercise.”

Cheyanna Bacon, sophomore fashion merchandising major, agreed that it was hard to get around campus, but it was up to students whether to go out in the snowy weather.

“Anywhere you go it’s pretty voluntary right now,” she said. “But I don’t know what I’d do if we had classes.”

Creamer made the recommendation to President Lester Lefton to cancel classes and close some offices. However, the university was not technically closed. Creamer considered it more of a “soft close.”

“We did close offices we didn’t consider essential,” he said.

Some of the essential employees asked to report to the university were the grounds crew, parking services, dining services and computer and information services, Creamer said.

“We make (the decision to close offices) on a case by case basis, based on what that office is doing,” he said.

Contact administration reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].