Snow, ice-inflicted injuries cause pain
As campus was coated with yet another fresh blanket of snow over the weekend, some students were still dealing with the repercussions from the first big snowstorm of the year on Feb. 4.
“I was walking through the parking lot in front of the science halls. I slipped and tried to grab onto the car,” said Lindsey Frazer, sophomore sociology major. “I slipped again and that’s when I hit my head on the car.”
Frazer’s fall took place before her 9 a.m. class Feb. 4, but classes weren’t called off until 12 p.m. that day. At first, Frazer said thought she was fine, but it wasn’t until she started having trouble focusing in class that she realized she needed to go to the hospital.
“My head still hurt. I didn’t really think anything was wrong,” Frazer said. “But then it hurt for a week after that, so I went to the doctor. They were like, ‘Yeah, you have a concussion. You probably should have come in when it happened.’”
Even though Emporia State took the amount of snowfall and the possibility of accidents into consideration and attempted to clear walking paths for students, campus remained open for classes until the afternoon that day, when many students had already arrived for morning classes.
“I heard a lot of people fell, and I was just walking through the parking lot. I wasn’t going fast or anything,” Frazer said. “Then, on the way back out of class I had to go through the same parking lot. I even took a different path and I fell again.”
In addition to Frazer’s concussion, six cars were stuck in the snow and received assistance from Police and Safety to get them out.
Frazer wasn’t the only one to take a spill on campus and receive an injury due to ice, though. Kelseigh Figgs, sophomore fine arts major, slipped while walking by Wooster Lake toward the dining hall.
“I sprained my wrist and elbow,” Figgs said. “I just couldn’t move my hand.”
Over a two-day timespan from Feb. 4-5, campus was blanketed by around 8 inches of snow, according to KVOE. The temperatures throughout the rest of the week warmed the ice enough for it to melt, but it refroze at night. The road conditions were still poor for classes on Monday, Feb. 10, nearly a week after the original storm, when Figgs took her fall.
“There was this really thin layer of black ice that you couldn’t see at all,” Figgs said. “We had avoided ice the whole time, and this one you can’t see I just fell on and just flat out landed (on my wrist).”
Administration handled the second, much smaller storm over this past weekend with extreme caution. A campus alert was sent out early Saturday evening to inform commuters that the roads would not be safe, and that they should prepare for them by leaving early for class. It also informed students about a final call for class cancellations being made by 6 a.m. Monday morning.
“Even though the heavier snow didn’t start to fall until Saturday evening, we started to clear the sidewalks and parking areas on Saturday,” said Carrie Boettcher, public service director. “Those crews even worked through the night.”
Mark Runge, director of facilities, also posted an announcement in BuzzIn to help inform all students about the possibly dangerous conditions that were expected as of Monday evening.