Ice Storm Lands Students at Whitworth University in Slippery Situation, and They Aren’t Happy

An editorial by Daniel Miller, 1/19/17

Students are forced to walk over ice covered pathways at Whitworth University as maintenance workers plow the street in the background.

Students at Whitworth University woke up Wednesday to find their school was one of the few in town to still be open, despite the roadways being full of slush and most of the sidewalks being covered in ice.

Initial warnings of the ice storm came Tuesday evening as the storm approached western Washington and forecasters warned of up to half an inch of ice. Despite the warning, students were surprised by the severity of the storm, and expected it to be less inconveniencing due to trends of rising temperatures throughout past week.

Though 70 percent of accidents occur in motor vehicle related incidents and 25 percent are people caught out in the storm according to a study published by the National Weather Service, the danger still felt very real for students and faculty alike.

The impact on students

“I’ve never lived in this type of winter before,” Whitworth freshman Kyle Gaul said. “Considering I live at school and classes are only a short, cold, slippery walk away, I have no problem with going. As long as the paths stay ice-free it’s not a problem; unlike this morning when slipping was a very real danger.”

The university encouraged students to use caution on their way to school via email, Facebook, and Twitter Wednesday morning as maintenance crews worked at deicing, plowing, and sanding pathways to ensure student safety.

While most of the sidewalks on campus were free of ice by the end of the day, there were still reports of possible concussions and other serious injuries related to falls caused by the ice, according to the Whitworth Health and Counseling Center.



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