EDITORIALS

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February 4, 2011

A warm thank you

Students owe University employees their thanks for the response to the blizzard

In the past four days, the University has been faced with extraordinary circumstances. This week’s snowstorm presented a crisis which threatened the safety and well-being of U of C students, and which could have been greatly problematic for many of us on campus. But a concerted effort from University staff kept the dangers and disruptions stemming from the storm to a minimum, and the many people involved in ensuring student safety during the blizzard deserve the gratitude of the entire student body.

Using the word “crisis” to describe this week’s weather is by no means hyperbole, particularly for the students currently in campus housing, who would have been helpless to provide themselves basic amenities were it not for the University staff on hand. While many of us rejoiced at the prospect of a snow day, the reality was that the time away from class would have been no treat at all were it not for the efforts of hundreds of University employees who stayed on campus and worked to preserve calm and order.

To give just one example of how University staff helped minimize any disruption, consider the dining hall employees. At a time when nearly all local restaurants and grocery stores were closed, the dining halls remained largely operational, serving students who had nowhere else to turn for food. Had it not been for the staff, many of whom stayed overnight at the I-House instead of going home to their families, it is not clear where students on campus would have eaten in the aftermath of the storm.

The work of the residential housing staff is also noteworthy. As essential as keeping students fed was keeping them informed, and resident heads (RHs) and resident assistants (RAs) throughout the housing system worked tirelessly to provide their houses with information about the developing situation and the services available on campus. The oversight and consideration provided by RHs and RAs was of great comfort during what could have otherwise been a stressful and confusing time.

Then there were the numerous UCPD officers who spent hours helping evacuate students from campus buildings long after the shuttle services stopped running. They picked up students all over campus and assured that many were able to spend the night in their own rooms.

The hard work of all these people assured that students remained safe, warm, and well-fed throughout the blizzard. Many of them gave up opportunities to go home, and many put themselves in harm’s way so that others would be protected. Their efforts and dedication helped lessen the severity of a crisis, and the Maroon would like to say “thank you” to all those involved in that effort.

The Maroon Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief and the Viewpoints Editors.

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