Winter weather causes inconveniences for AU commuters


Madison Graver

It has been a struggle for students coming to campus as heavy snowfall covers parking lots and walkways.

Madison Graver

The snowfall over the last couple weeks has made Ashland University’s campus look a bit like a winter wonderland, but it has also been a big inconvenience for everyone around campus. While residential students are having to deal with snow covered walkways and slippery steps, AU commuter students are running into those problems as well as a snowy drive to campus each morning and parking lots that aren’t adequately cleared.

While a number of classes are online this semester, many commuters still have to come to campus throughout the week. This task is not easy when it means having to drive in slightly dangerous winter conditions with roads that aren’t plowed very well outside of campus.

Brianna Given, an AU student who commutes from Greenwich, said that coming to campus with all of the snow has not been fun and forces her to have to plan ahead if roads are going to be dangerous.

“It definitely takes a lot longer,” she said. “The roads in Ashland in general aren’t very good. I grew up around here so I know that, so I have to plan ahead. Also, the commuter parking lot doesn’t get plowed very well either and I have a small car, so that doesn’t help matters.”

The commuter parking lot has been a place of contention amongst commuters for a while now, as many feel that it is never plowed very well and oftentimes some spots are taken away due to snow being plowed into them. With all of the snow piling up after various days, it becomes a repetitive process of trying to safely make it to school despite the weather hazard.

“This is definitely the worst snowy kind of weather that I can remember,” Given said.

Although many students may become frustrated with the accumulation of snow on campus’ walkways, parking lots and sidewalks, AU’s maintenance and ground crews do what they can to keep those areas safe for students.

“We’re making sure all of the entrances are shoveled and then salt the heck out of them,” said Paul Brady, AU’s director of maintenance and grounds. “If you notice around campus compared to the rest of the city, nobody does as good a job as we do. We take it very seriously and we put a lot of people on it when we need to. Even though sometimes people don’t think we do, everybody’s out there working.”

Brady said that whenever snow hits Ashland, the grounds crews try to clear off the places where people will be early in the morning such as convo, the student center and Founders as well as the entrances to all of the dorm buildings. Additionally, there are only five designated workers on the grounds crew who are responsible for snow removal, so when a large snowfall hits they utilize workers from the other maintenance departments such as electricians and mechanics to help plow, shovel and lay down salt around campus.

“I don’t think anybody in the city does as good a job as we do on a regular basis and our guys take a lot of pride in that,” Brady said. “This year through a donor gift, we’ve been able to replace all of our equipment, so we’re much more efficient at it than we have been. I know we don’t make everybody happy, but we do a very good job of getting people around and out on campus.”