West Chester University started out its spring semester the same way it ended its fall semester: cancelled due to heavy snow.
Thanks to winter storm Janus, West Chester University students, faculty and staff were able to extend their winter breaks for a couple of days when more than a foot of snow fell the day classes were supposed to start.
“It was great, I went sledding,” said communication studies major Ryan Calpin.
But not everybody enjoyed the winter weather.
Along with the deep snow, Janus also brought icy conditions and dangerous, single degree temperatures, all of which contributed to hazardous commutes and more than one case of cabin fever.
“We were going crazy in our house, because it was too cold to even go outside and enjoy it, said Stephanie Loeh, a junior English major at West Chester.
The storm and subsequent arctic blast also caused major problems in and around campus and town. On Monday and Tuesday, many business in town were also closed because of snow buildup on the roads and dangerous conditions. Below 16 degrees, traditional salt mixtures are largely ineffective at melting ice, and there were several days in a row that barely reached the upper teens. It made for treacherous driving and walking conditions on ice covered roads and sidewalks.
The freezing temperatures also caused other problems. At the West Chester Commons apartment complex, a pipe burst twice, causing flooding in one of the entrances.
“It’s inconvenient to have to walk around the outside of the building to get to class, especially with how cold it is,” said senior Laura Wayne. “Not to mention the 2 a.m. fire alarm when the pipe burst.”
Some people are not as affected by the brutal winter weather.
“I’ve lived in places where we have gotten lot more snow than we get here,” said professor Phillip Thompsen, who used to live in Flagstaff, Arizona, a mountainous region at an elevation of 7,000 feet. “Its almost humorous [how people react].”
The winter storm was part of a record setting winter for the Philadelphia region, which has not seen this much snowfall before the end of January since the 1870s.
Kenny Ayres is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at KA739433@wcupa.edu.