Snow Removal on Campus and How it can Affect Accessibility

Credit: Equinox Archives

During the winter months, snow and ice can negatively affect accessibility on campus. KSC is aware of this and tries to accommodate students with mobility issues. 

Joe Britton, KSC facilities manager and supervisor of grounds, said they have sectioned out the campus to each worker. “We do have maps where everyone has a section. They have a set route that they maintain and follow.” He continued, “It does help because we do have a few students with mobility issues, so we try to prioritize those areas a little bit better and communicate with those students and their needs.”

Lisa David, Associate Director of Disability Services, said that snow can definitely affect our students with mobility issues. “The grounds department is aware of student needs on campus; many of them do have the direct number to a grounds person in order to prioritize certain areas on campus,” said David.

Britton mentioned that he has given out his number to students that want it when they need any help as well.

One student, Keagan Watson, said he has been stuck in the snow three times so far this year. Watson described how he gets around when there is snow and ice. He said, “It’s kind of hard depending on how much they have done. I have to use speed to get through snow clumps, but if there’s like the notification we got today, [the ice warning email of February 2] I’m driving slower.” 

If students with mobility issues get stuck in their dorm due to too much ice or snow, David said there is “no formal process” to be able to get them what they need. However, she said, “If they do need to get food, they have the option to call someone if they can’t get out. We’re problem solvers over here, you just have to let us know.” 

As a result of snow and ice, Watson said students should be more aware of people with mobility issues around campus, to be able to help them get around safer and easier, and for other people to get around the same. He said, “I think a lot of people forget about this population.” Watson added, “If there’s someone with a wheelchair and you have an alternate path to take, please take it. I don’t have that option.” He said he has had students help him and then he has seen students walk right past him when he is stuck. 

David agreed with this by saying that students should try to be more aware. 

Britton also commented on this by saying we should “Keep an eye out for each other.”

In addition, Briton noted that the buckets of salt outside of the dorms are for students or custodial staff to put down if needed when they are not there. 

  Britton said when a snowstorm or “icing event” comes, their main objective is to keep the campus open for students, but if it’s a bad snowstorm, they just want to make sure emergency vehicles can get through. “Keeping roadways open and dorms accessible.” said Britton. 

         Britton said the process of snow removal usually takes them around two to three days. “We do patrol everyday.” said Britton. He later mentioned students can help make this process easier by moving their cars around. “Move your car every once in a while. Move your car to a clean spot and we’re gonna clean up where your car was.” 

         In short, Britton said, “Students can reach out to campus safety or us. We are here for the students, if there is an issue or something we can do better to help someone out I’m all ears.” 

 

Timothy Bruns

tbruns@kscequinox.com

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