The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

UWEC plans for winter months ahead

How UWEC faculty and grounds crew are preparing for colder months
Photo by Taylor Boggess
A look on campus from between the Zorn Arena and Centennial Hall.

On Nov. 7, Governor Tony Evers declared the week of Nov. 13-17 Winter Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

ReadyWisconisn said that in Wisconsin, the year averages about three to six winter storms.

Dean of Students Gregg Heinselman said the main priority for administrators is the students’ safety and that the school will be unlikely to shut down.

“The primary thing for students is safety,” Heinselman said. “We realize that not all of our students come from Wisconsin. There are very seldom days where we close the university, just primarily because most of the faculty and students live by, or around campus.”

Story continues below advertisement

Jennifer Allen, the grounds crew manager, said that the grounds crew meets about two days in advance of a storm where they discuss what time they have to start and how much snow there will be.

Allen said that they learned in their training this year to check ground temperatures to determine what kind of snow it will be.

Heinselman said students can prepare themselves for the cold weather by having the appropriate attire.

“Most students when they come to college don’t realize how much time they spend outside,” Heinselman said. “So have the appropriate gear to survive the winter weather. Good boots, good gloves, good hat, good jacket.”

Heinselman said the school does have a Campus Harvest Food Pantry and Campus Closet for students who may not have access to those resources.

Allen said one thing she stresses to students come winter is to not only have proper footwear but to be aware of their surroundings.

“One thing I would stress to students is proper footwear,” Allen said. “The number of Crocs or Birkenstocks with socks are not the best suited for something like the hill. I would encourage you to leave out one of your AirPods, to be aware of your surroundings.” 

Heinselman said students should also make sure to take care of their car if they have one. Students should not expect them to start on the first try after being left untouched for long periods in the winter.

Allen said the grounds crew also works hand-in-hand with the UW-Eau Claire Police Department come wintertime. 

“We also work a lot with campus police,” Allen said. “Cause they are doing overnight routes. If something starts snowing earlier than anticipated, they may call us up and say, ‘Hey it started at 2 a.m. instead of 6, can you get here sooner?’”

Heinselman said that for students who do live off-campus, there are some legal services to help with landlord issues.

“We see that houses off-campus that have heat issues— at times we can advocate for students in that situation,” Heinselman said. “If they are not getting anywhere with their landlord, and they have issues with heat or frozen pipes, we have legal services that are available to students.”

Allen said students should be careful of the crew’s plows. Despite having windows all around them and backup cameras on the newer ones, it is still hard to see pedestrians in a snowstorm.

More information regarding the campus’s snow removal policy can be found here.

Boggess can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *