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More Winters Woes in “Ew” England and at Emmanuel

A second weather offensive blasted the northeast on Monday, putting another work and school day across Boston on ice and setting a record for greatest weekly total snowfall in the city’s history.

A man clears off wet snow from the sidewalk outside the Jean Yawkey Center.

A man clears wet snow from the sidewalk outside the Jean Yawkey Center.

Classes at Emmanuel College were cancelled officially at 5 a.m Monday morning and reopened on Tuesday, a decision that Dr. Patricia Rissmeyer, Vice President of Student Affairs, adamantly defended and accepted responsibility for.

Emmanuel College students were alerted on Monday night via e-mail that school and administrative offices would be open on Tuesday and all classes observed. Many commuter students expressed their frustration online that traveling in the morning by any method would be impractical and even dangerous.

During Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting, Dr. Rissmeyer summarized her collaborative efforts to close school, saying, “We put a lot of thought into it.”

“We have a lot of classes today,” she said at the meeting. “[Closing today] would be a repeat closure (following last week’s blizzard shut-down),” an influence many felt could have been disregarded in respect of safety.

Dr. Rissmeyer also responded to criticism of the maligned e-mail. “I really wanted you to know last night that there was class today. I’ll take the hit for that.”

In the event of any potential closure due to inclement weather, surrounding schools are used to model an appropriate response. All other campuses in the COF remained open and without delay on Tuesday.

Maria Blandini 16′ thinks she was failed by Emmanuel after totaling her car during the commute Tuesday morning.

“I couldn’t brake because of the ice; I hydroplaned and crashed into the car in front of me,” she said, waiting for lunch in the main dining hall. “The police came before I had a chance to call them. They were waiting for people to crash.”

MBTA services on Tuesday were severely impacted by the snow and cold temperatures. Passengers were encouraged by officials to seek alternative routes and means of travel as hours rolled on and traffic remained in a virtual standstill for the entire day across Boston.

Unbeknownst to many, the Cardinal Cushing Library was operational during last week’s blizzard as sanctuary for those with cabin fever or whose travel plans were in disarray. In her office, Director of the Library Susan von Daum Tholl said her staff was personally asked by the Dean’s Office to consider remaining open from 5-10 pm.

“We were originally asked by Pat Rissmeyer’s office may years ago to give students a place to study during bad weather,” she said. According to Ms. von Daum Tholl, prior to the week of the blizzard, there were only two occasions when library closed unexpectedly: the lock-down day following the Boston Marathon bombing, and during Hurricane Sandy. Ms. von Daum Tholl says that security makes the final call if campus or individual buildings are safe to be open.

“Our policy is that we are open during snowstorms – normal snowstorms – unless security deems it unsafe,” she said.

Notre Dame has remained open and functional in spite of a hasty but competent evacuation of the satellite campus earlier last week, when The Blizzard of 2015 struck down on Boston. Fears that the complex would lose power, coupled with an indefinite driving ban signed by freshman Governor Charlie Baker, motivated Notre Dame’s staff to act quickly.

Resident Assistant Akyanna Smith 15′ explained in a brief interview how she helped implement the evacuation once classes were cancelled in wake of the storm.

“We immediately sent an e-mail to all residents of Notre Dame as soon as we had the logistics,” said Smith. “As soon as my lab was over, I ran up there. I wanted people to know what was going on.”

According to Smith, most residents of Notre Dame had an expressed place to stay, whether with charitable friends or back home. She explained that the evacuation was prompted because Notre Dame lacks a generator to sustain itself remotely, adding “if we hadn’t evacuated in 90 minutes after a power outage, that would be against the law.”

Smith is confident that another evacuation of Notre Dame will be necessary someday, but has faith in her colleagues and Emmanuel’s faculty. “Resident life and the school have our safety in mind,” she said.

Meteorologists have forecast another possibly major system headed for the area this weekend, a storm which could bring in upwards of 8-15 more inches of snow.

Paul Rowley ’16 is a Staff Writer and Columnist for The Hub. Follow him on Twitter @almanacalism or e-mail him

Posted by on February 7, 2015. Filed under Around Campus,Around the Hub. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.