Tech students face harsh winter conditions on campus

The beginning of the spring semester brought cold weather to Tech’s campus and students. In the first two weeks, students attended classes despite the snow, wind, and below freezing temperatures.

Jack Butler, associate vice president of facilities, said this is the roughest winter he’s experienced in his three years on campus.

“The weather is hard on everyone, and this is the first year they’ve called for natural gas and electric interruptions,” Butler said.

Butler said students should think conservatively about energy use.

“We’ve had some instances where students kept their windows open in the dorms,” Butler said. “We can control the resources we have to help our environment.”

Others are noticing and even finding humor in the weather changes and dangers across campus.

Tech student Ben VanWinkle uploaded a video that he recorded in the campus cafeteria. The video shows several Tech students falling and slipping on the icy stairs in the rear parking lot of the RUC.

“My initial reaction was to do something, but people were already trying to solve the problem at that point,” VanWinkle said. “I remained the unresolved observer.”            

VanWinkle said about 70 percent of students walking down the stairs fell or slipped.

“I was cringing every time, hoping no one would get hurt,” VanWinkle said.

“My intention was to remain anonymous, but I forgot my name would show up on the YouTube video,” VanWinkle said.

One day after the video was uploaded, it received over 3,000 views.

Tech student Drake Fenlon was the last person to fall in the video. He said he noticed the stairs were being salted, but didn’t think about the ice. Fenlon said his friend had just warned him to be careful on the ice.

“I fell exactly when my friend said, ‘ice,'” Fenlon said.

No reports of serious injury due to the icy steps were made.