Thursday, February 3, 2011
Students across the Baldwin City campus of Baker University were alerted via the B-Alert system at 8:38 a.m. Tuesday that classes and administrative offices would be closing at 10 a.m.
Another message was sent at 8:04 p.m. Tuesday that the Baldwin City campus was closed again Wednesday due to inclement weather.
Dean of Students Cassy Bailey, as well as other administrators and faculty, were involved in making the decision on the closing.
"I think those decisions are always really hard to make about when to call a snow day," Bailey said.
Junior Erica Vest was surprised that school was canceled Tuesday, but was excited about having the day off.
"I didn't think it would be (canceled), but I enjoyed the day," Vest said.
On Tuesday, Vest and other BU students spread the word through Facebook about an all-campus snowball fight.
"We just started texting random people and then some people put it as their Facebook status, and we just all showed up," Vest said.
On Wednesday, parking lots were filled with BU students scrapping ice off of cars and trying to dig their way out of the snow. But, for four Baker students, a giant pile of snow outside Pulliam Hall meant an afternoon of fun.
Sophomores Areon Cobbins and Jourdan Miller and freshmen Ashley Sampson and Katie Jett decided Wednesday to make an igloo outside of Pulliam Hall.
"We were pretty much stuck in the dorms (Tuesday) and we wanted to do something fun and get out of the room so we wouldn't be so bored," Cobbins said.
While students chose to catch up on homework and enjoyed relaxing on their snow days, around 20 essential personnel, including maintenance, security and dining services had to work, despite the amount of snow on the ground.
"It's a lot of people," Bailey said. "Especially when you think about serving people, that's one operation we can't have interrupted."
Assistant Director of Dining Services Tanya Sieber decided Monday night to take a room in Irwin Hall.
"I didn't know exactly when the snow was going to start, and I was worried I wasn't going to be able to get out of my driveway Tuesday morning to get here," Sieber said. "I just felt safer being here Monday night."
Sieber headed home Wednesday after two nights of sleeping in Irwin.
"A nice farmer came and took care of our driveway, so I know I can get into my driveway again … we're getting back to life as usual," Sieber said.
Emeritus Professor of Art Walt Bailey has been a part of the Baker University community since he was an undergraduate student in 1958.
"Historically, Baker didn't have snow days," Walt Bailey said. "When I was a student here, we never, and even through most of my career, we never had a single snow day."
Walt Bailey said most of the faculty and staff lived in Baldwin City when he was a student at Baker, and everything was within walking distance for the students, so there was no need to close campus.
"One time, when there was an ice storm thick enough, people skated down the street in ice skates," he said. "Down brick streets to class. So, the idea of snow days, or closing school for any reason, just didn't happen."