Students give thoughts on recent winter snowstorm

Emma Austin

After a long break that began with unusually warm weather, students returned to WKU’s campus over the weekend just in time to be greeted by piles of snow, freezing temperatures and cancelled classes.

If this weekend was an indication of what the rest of the winter will be like, students might expect to have many days of cancelled classes. Campus was closed on Jan. 20, 22 and 25 after what WBKO reported to be Bowling Green’s third-highest total snowfall on record: up to 12.2 inches.

This amount of snowfall is a record for Bowling Green, but many WKU students who come from cities farther north are used to winters filled with higher quantities of precipitation.

“It snows constantly during the winter where I am from,” said Carolyn Contreras, a senior from Palatine, Illinois, which is 30 miles northwest of Chicago.

Contreras added that in her town, it usually starts snowing in November and doesn’t stop until about March.

“The winter weather I’ve experienced back home is very different from the winter weather here [in Bowling Green],” she said.

Paulina Gonzalez, a junior from Winfield, Illinois, is also used to lower temperatures and much more snow than Bowling Green’s typical amount.

“My first year here, I couldn’t believe the town would shut down because of snow,” Gonzalez said. She said she now realizes this is because Bowling Green is not prepared or equipped to deal with snowy weather, unlike the states that get snow more often.

This lack of preparedness seems to be true across all of Kentucky, which coped with a backup on Interstate 75 between Friday and Saturday that made national news. The Herald-Leader reported that hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the highway Friday night into Saturday; some were alone for up to 19 hours.

However, it’s hard to complain about Bowling Green’s failure to compensate when it means classes are cancelled and the day is free to be filled with fun in the snow — or Netflix in bed.

Greta Wolfenden, a sophomore from Boston, said although she loves warm weather, she also loves the snow. She said last year in Boston, there was a total of 109 inches on the ground at one time: a figure that puts Bowling Green’s single foot to shame.

“Snow doesn’t come around too often, so I try to make it memorable.” Wolfenden said.

Wolfenden said she recommends going outside to enjoy the snow when classes are cancelled by going sledding or having a snowball fight.

“I always wear at least three pairs of socks,” Wolfenden said, advising Hilltoppers to bundle up well to stay warm and dry before going outside on snow days.

After being notified that the semester wouldn’t begin until Tuesday, some students decided to postpone their move back to campus. Jessica McCormick, a freshman from Jeffersonville, Indiana, said she had been counting on being back in the classroom on Monday and was surprised to hear about the cancellation.

“I think it’s a good idea to delay it, though, with the threat of black ice and difficulty traveling,” said McCormick. She said that instead of leaving on Sunday like she had originally planned, she decided to head back to Bowling Green on Monday and spend her extra day at home.

Other students had trouble returning to Bowling Green because of the weather conditions.

Fahad Alotaibi, a student from Saudi Arabia, tweeted at WKU’s account on Saturday night, saying that his flight into Washington, D.C., had been cancelled twice because of the snow. Alotaibi said he was unsure of when he would make it back to campus.

“With this weather, I’m afraid the flights will keep canceling every day,” said Alotaibi, who originally planned to arrive in Bowling Green on Jan. 23. WKU responded to his tweet, insisting safety was the first priority.

This week, Hilltoppers were seen sledding down the hill in front of Van Meter Hall and shuffling to class in boots and a winter coat. If the snow returns, these might become more common sights on campus. Then again, this is Kentucky; for all we know, students will be on South Lawn in shorts and T-shirts next week.