South Orange’s neighboring city of Newark, N.J. received 28.1 inches of snow as of the afternoon of Jan. 24, unofficially breaking the previous 1996 record of 27.8 inches according to NJ.com. The National Weather Service is due to release official statistics and verification within the next week.
Thomas Giordano, assistant director of Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety, said the University has certain steps prepared for when South Orange anticipates storms such as Jonas.
Both Public Safety and Facilities Engineering monitored weather forecasts to determine if weather conditions could impact the safety and operation of the campus, Giordano said in an email about Jonas.
“The Office of Emergency Management at SHU Public Safety provided this information to a designated group of University officials so that preparations could be made and decisions made regarding University operations,” Giordano said.
Facilities Engineering scheduled personnel for snow removal duty and readied snow removal equipment in anticipation of the storm.
“Based on expected snowfall amounts and ongoing weather conditions, and in consultation with the SHU Director of Public Safety, a decision is made by the University Provost regarding the cancellation of classes and events and closure of the University,” Giordano said.
He adds that the costs of the work depends on the number of facilities personnel and work hours put into maintaining the campus during storms. At times, outside contractors are brought onto campus to help clear and dispose of the snow.
“Facilities attempts to keep a reasonable amount of supplies on hand based on past experience,” Giordano said. “Snow removal from campus roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks and the dispersing of ice melting substances is performed by employees of SHU Facilities Engineering.”
The Department of Public Safety relays reports of problem areas, whether icy or snow packed, to Facilities
Giordano said that, “SHU Facilities personnel work very long hours in difficult conditions to reduce snow and ice related hazards on campus.”
Public Safety and Security also sent out multiple emails with weather and safety campus updates and regarding the cancellation of classes, events, SHUFLY and SafeRide throughout the weekend and into Monday Jan. 25.
Classes and events were shut down at Seton Hall University from Saturday morning until Monday at 12 p.m.
Thomas Chen, assistant athletics director for Digital Media and Communications, said the weather did not stop the women’s basketball team.
“The women’s basketball games went on as scheduled. The Pirates won both games and had strong crowds for both games. The Friday night game vs. Xavier had the second-highest attendance of the season behind only the Rutgers game on Nov. 16,” Chen said in an email. “We have very loyal and supportive fans, and we appreciate that they took the time to come support the women’s basketball team despite the snow.”
However, Chen said the snow prevented the swimming and diving meet between Seton Hall and the University of Connecticut that was scheduled for Jan. 24.
Lindsay McGowan, sophomore public relations major and a diver on the team, was disappointed when the meet was canceled: “UConn has a great team and it would have made for a really exciting meet. It stinks that we couldn’t showcase our hard work this weekend.”
McGowan said that the team had an inter-squad meet for their last home meet of the season where the team members competed against each other rather than compete against another school.
Jessica Videña, junior nursing major and commuter from Springfield, N.J. said un-cleared roads created slow traffic and delays.
“I was kind of nervous mainly because I had driven in the snow on Sunday and felt like I was slipping, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought,” Videña said. “I definitely considered not coming today (Jan. 25), but I had to since it was one of my major nursing classes.”
Alexandra Gale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org