Over the past few weeks, New Jersey and its surrounding areas have seen three snow storms, all resulting in hazardous driving conditions and school and work closings. As a result, Ramapo issued four snow days as workers attempted to plow the parking lots and clear walkways.
Ramapo students have been voicing their complaints about parking to administration after dealing with huge mounds of snow blocking vehicles and ice preventing cars from backing out. The snow and ice have caused problems for residents of various dorms, including the CPAs, Linden, the Village, Bischoff and Mackin Halls.
In addition to issues in the parking lots, students have also voiced their concerns about encountering icy paths while around campus.
The college issued an email last Wednesday requesting that students move their cars from the CPA, Overlook, Mackin and Bischoff lots to main lots B, C and D or the tennis courts across the road on Route 202 in an effort to plow spots, which were still in need of clearing.
Sophomore Sam Gross moved his car from the College Park Apartments last Saturday as requested by the College in an email, but says he did not see the parking lots cleared.
“It [the snow] has definitely affected my roommates and me. We’ve had to dig each other’s cars out numerous times, and sometimes we’d be out there for hours pushing our cars out,” said Gross.
Stephen Frost, a senior living in Laurel Hall, said that he’s been lucky enough to have no problems with the snow because of Laurel Hall’s parking deck. Unlike some students, though, he believes that the snow days given by Ramapo were slightly excessive last week.
Junior Rebecca Weber, also living in Laurel Hall, was forced to park on the roof of the parking deck and had a tough time moving her car out of its parking spot.
“Removing my car was frustrating,” she said. “I had to push my car out of its spot with someone else because it wouldn’t move on its own. Toward Friday, the snow removal seemed to get better though.”
Weber said the snow days were generally helpful to catch up on work, but thought that a delayed opening last Friday would have been acceptable.
Commuters may be the biggest victims of the snow and ice. Finding a good parking spot is difficult during student “rush hours,” but has since escalated as many of the spots have been completely unavailable due to snow.
Senior Andrea Arias, who commutes, said that finding a parking spot that she felt comfortable leaving her car in was challenging.
“I was scared of going into a spot because I didn’t want to damage my bumper. Some spots were just too filled with ice to even try to park, and I decided it’d be a better idea to have someone drop me off and then be picked up,” Arias said.
While Arias appreciated the snow days, she said that her science classes are extremely behind and are now struggling to meet schedules set at the beginning of the semester.
Senior Marissa Steinberg, a Village resident, was fortunate enough to have a truck with four wheel drive and said that she has not been impacted the same way other students have by the snow.
“It has still been frustrating as I have to drive over piles of snow or slam on my gas pedal when trying to get into and out of parking spots,” Steinberg said.
She continued to explain that as a nursing student, the snow days have been helpful in giving her time to study for the NCLEX and other exams she needs to complete before she graduates.
Yesterday the college issued another email addressing the snow removal, stating that snow removal contractors are working day and night to clear more parking spots and walkways.
The email also informed students and colleagues looking for parking spots to contact Public Safety so that officers can direct them to available spaces in the event that they cannot find them.
Many students did not notice the ending of the email from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs yesterday, which referenced the snowmen built around campus in the last week.
“If you find yourself looking for an area to build a giant snowman shaped as a Roadrunner, please just be mindful to stay out of the way of the snow removal crews and equipment,” the email stated.
Students having trouble removing their car should contact their residence halls to use salt to dissolve leftover ice and contact Public Safety at ext. 6666 in case of emergency.