The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

‘Snowmageddon’ bombards Greensboro with snowfall

Add “Snowpocalypse” or “Snowmageddon” to the list of events you have now survived.

Feb. 13 marked the first of a two-day snowstorm that swept across the state, dumping a near-record 8 inches of snow on Greensboro.

Among many circumstances of this storm, Guilford College classes were cancelled from Wednesday afternoon through the weekend, the Bryan Series event featuring Itzhak Perlman was postponed, the “None of the Above: Dismantling the School-to-Pipeline” art exhibit opening reception was postponed and the “Who is Black Panel” was cancelled.

The inclement weather unleashed a flurry of activity as administrators deliberated on whether or not to cancel classes.

“(The) president has ultimate authority to close the College and/or cancel classes, but he has delegated this responsibility to me,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Adrienne Israel in an email interview. “I decide based on reports from the staff who maintain the grounds … a range of weather reports and predictions … (and) from the state highway patrol and police department about driving conditions.”

Israel went on to explain that the target for announcing class cancellations and campus closings is 3:00 p.m. for evening classes and 6:00 a.m. for day classes.

Among those involved with the decision are Dean of Students Vice President for Student Affairs Aaron Fetrow, Director of Environmental Sustainability David Petree and occasionally Vice President of Administration Jonathan Varnell.

Two consecutive closings are somewhat unusual for Guilford.

“(The College) never closed for two days straight due to snow since I arrived in 2002,” said President and Professor of Political Science Kent Chabotar in an email interview.

Coordinating the Bryan Series event proved especially tricky.

“Decisions about the Bryan Series are generally made independently because they impact people who are not associated with the College,” said Ty Buckner, associate vice president of communications and marketing, in an email interview.

Due to the snow, the Bryan Series event featuring Perlman will now be held on March 17, which displeased many.

“Perlman is by far my favorite violinist, and I was really looking forward to seeing him at the event,” said Early College junior Porter Jones. “It’s a shame the event was postponed another month.”

Early College senior Parth Vaidya agreed.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to see him now,” Vaidya said. “March 17 is during our spring break, and like many others, I already have plans. I certainly was disappointed by the outcome.”

Much of Guilford’s staff was forced to work long hours to ensure students’ safety and provide them with services.

“Since we are considered essential personnel, we have to be here,” said Public Safety Coordinator Rhonda Johnson. “Public Safety is here 24/7. If somebody does not show up, the officer on duty has to stay until someone else can get in.”

Johnson was among the few that spent both Wednesday and Thursday night on campus. Many of the grounds crew also stayed overnight, lodging at Campbell House, while they worked into the night and rose early to clear sidewalks and roads.

Despite the inconveniences, many students found the snow enjoyable, as Guilford’s hills turned into sledding mounds and snowball fights overran the campus.

“Snowmageddon … allowed me to be five years old again,” said junior Edward Praley. “Snow day equaled snow ball fights.”

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