Digging Out: Resident Assistants are the Unsung heroes of snow removal

2/17/2015

JUSTIN MCCLURE

@_JustinMcClure_

In the midst of a chilly February night, a valley of sidewalk laid entrenched in the middle of a pile of snow on both of its sides. The scrapping of plastic snow shovels echoed off buildings as they pushed along concrete in a seemingly rhythmic style. There wasn’t much conversation to be had – a job had to be done as another pile of snow flung over a shoulder, landing in an accumulating pile.

For resident assistants, when snow begins to fall, their job compromises the bounds of dealing with incident reports and check-out routines; when snow begins to fall, they are the first responders. Resident assistants from all on-campus resident halls pitch-in in an attempt to keep students safe from inclement weather.

Alex Reynolds, a resident assistant in Sea Gull Square, recounts the clean-up efforts from last night’s snowstorm that hit slightly after 4 p.m. on Feb. 16.

“I feel good and I’m happy about helping out,” Reynolds said. “I’m used to shoveling back at my home so it’s nothing new to me but ultimately I know that (removing the snow) will keep people safer during the snowstorm.”

For resident assistants at Sea Gull Square and at other resident halls across campus, their job is simple: shovel and salt, but even that can become an arduous task when dealing with large snow accumulations.

First, it’s important that the snow is cleared from front walkways, entrances and all emergency exits. Then, once the sidewalks and doorways are cleared, salt is spread in hopes to lessen further snow accumulations.

These responsibilities occur in three-hour shifts and can be divided up evenly among resident hall staff members or can be dealt with by the entire group, all at once. Last night, Reynolds and his fellow resident assistants shoveled at 9 p.m. and 12 a.m., and then shoveled once more at 8 a.m. the next morning.

“We all got it done and we all worked well together,” Reynolds said. “I like keeping people safe and making sure everything is okay – that is a great thing about this job.”

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