Winter Storm Jonas Brings “Hot Mess” to Campus

Heat Miser’s reign of warm weather officially ended Friday, Jan. 22, as the descent of Hurricane Jonas ushered in three feet of snow. Many were snowed in and shovels and plows were dusted off in order to combat the heavy blizzard. With Jonas’s help, sibling rivalry has turned in favor of Heat Miser’s chilly brother, Snow Miser.

While news reports and meteorologists had given advanced warning of the up-coming storm, many did not believe that we would get so much snow, if at all. When asked what she thought when she heard the weather forecast, Lauren Hampton ’17 stated, “I expected it to be bad, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much snow we got. It was shocking to see how much compared to my height.” Lori Helman, Office Manager for Student Development, said, “I didn’t believe it was going to happen. Very rarely anymore do we get that much snow.”

Since the storm made many roadways difficult to navigate, only essential staff, including the Dining Hall staff, Security, and Physical Plant employees, were required to be on campus. Helman said employees from Physical Plant arrived on campus at 4 a.m., Friday Jan. 22, and stayed overnight until 7 p.m., Sunday Jan. 24, to manage the snow. Safety Officer Kevin Miller was on campus when the storm hit and, with students, helped dig out residents whose building doors were impassable due to snow drifts. “It was cool to see the Wilson community as a whole, at least the people on campus, kind of banded together and helped out a lot,” Hampton said.

Helman made it to campus in order to arrange transportation for 19 international students for their orientation weekend. Shuttle service from Dulles International, BWI, and Harrisburg Airports were supposed to begin Friday, Jan. 22. Due to the inclement weather, cancelled flights, and driver schedules, pick-ups began Monday, Jan. 25, and continued through Wednesday, Jan. 26, where all international students were able to arrive safely.

While snow offers hypothermic temperatures, the need for back-breaking labor, and changing travel plans, it seems that many take snow and cold weather for granted. Like the Southtown, U.S.A. citizens of the Rankin and Bass Productions’ “The Year Without Santa Claus,” some of the international students experienced snow for the first time.

“At the very first time I was really excited because I had never seen snow before and at the first day out with some people, like Daniel [Glazier] and my roommate Zach[Zerr] and a new student from Uzbekistan, we made snow angels and it was very fun. But after about ten to fifteen minutes I started getting cold,” said Alvin Sandy, an international student from Indonesia. Sandy was able to go sledding for the first time, a favorite past-time for any winter enthusiast. Zach Zerr ’19, Sandy’s roommate, said, “It was pretty cool seeing what the different viewpoints were of someone who has never seen snow [compared] to someone like me who’s used to snow.”

When asked about the winter weather in Indonesia, Sandy commented that they have winters that reach twenty-four degrees Celsius which, when converted, is about seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. For many Pennsylvanians, 75 degrees Fahrenheit would be considered hot on a summer day, let alone a winter one.

After tiring from the arctic antics, residents were able to participate in Resident Assistant (RA) provided activities such as board games and Sardines, a game of reverse Hide-and-Seek where the people seeking hide with the original person hiding when they find them until all players are hiding together. For new students eager to meet people and disappointed that the storm inhibited people from arriving on campus, it was an excellent way to socialize with people who were already on campus. New student Emily Coslett ’20, states, “When it [the snow storm] first happened I was in my room for like twenty-four hours by myself, so it was very irritating. And then the next day when I realized some people were actually here, I went to Lenfest and the RAs were there so they introduced me to everybody.” When asked about the game of Sardines, Coslett said, “It helped me because it showed me around Lenfest and campus and got me to meet people.”

Snow Miser continues to make up for lost time and has since sprinkled more snow on Chambersburg and the surrounding areas. Wilson cancelled evening classes Monday, Feb. 15, after it snowed throughout the day and continued into the evening. Mr. Ten Below has come to stay, his brother sent packing and leaving small islands created by his volcanic temper in his wake. In the meantime, the snow continues to bring Wilson together as a community whether it be to dig out cars and clear doorways or make snow angels and play multiple rounds of Sardines.

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