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Winter Comes to Campus

Brooke Burger
Staff Writer
   The University of Arkansas at Monticello implemented its "Inclement Weather Policy" Monday, Feb. 20, after a weekend of light freezing rain and sleet created icy conditions on the campus.

   Finance and Administration Vice Chancellor Mark Davis said, "We're constantly reviewing our policies, and I think (UAM's Inclement Weather Policy) works very well."

   Steps to prepare the campus began Friday afternoon with a meeting of critical personnel to plan for the icy weather. Davis sent the inclement weather policy to faculty and staff by 1:30 p.m., and maintenance prepared ice-melting chemicals, serviced equipment and checked emergency generators by 4:30 p.m.

   "We thought we'd gotten through the worst of it," said Jim Hudgins, director of the physical plant, "so, Monday came as kind of a surprise, but we were still prepared."

   Chancellor Jack Lassiter said he was out Monday at about 5 a.m. with security and personnel to assess the campus and roads into Monticello.

   Provost David Ray sent an e-mail to faculty reminding them that some commuters may not be able to make it to class and to be lenient with attendance policies in those cases.

   "We have emergency procedures that we go through, and everyone has a plan of action," Lassiter said. "(UAM's personnel) worked above and beyond the call of duty on Monday."

   Although the rain lasted until early Monday morning, ruling out pretreatments, maintenance crews began roping off stairways and putting down ice-melting chemicals around 6:30 a.m. Crews started treatments in areas of the campus with the most traffic. At 8:09 a.m., a campus e-mail announced all offices would open and classes would begin at 10 a.m.

   According to Public Safety officer Ken Vanderzwalm, officers stood at hazardous areas like steps and sidewalks to warn students. He said officers were mainly stationed at the Science Center because of all the stairways.

   Public safety had no injury or accident reports during the icy weather, but Vanderzwalm said they did hear of a few people slipping on the ice Monday.

   "I think everything went fairly well -- as well as to be expected in a situation where ice is all over the ground," Vanderzwalm said.

   Students are encouraged to tune into local television and radio stations during inclement weather situations. The "Emergency Procedures Quick Reference Guide" on the Public Safety homepage lists Monticello's local stations.

    Students can also view "UAM's Inclement Weather Policy" by clicking on "Administration and Staff" on UAM's homepage and then clicking "Inclement Weather and Emergency Situations."

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ŠThe Voice 2006
09/17/2007 02:08:04 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/3_18/ice.htm