USM saw its first snow day of the 2022-2023 school year on the 20th. If you’re an out-of-state student from somewhere warmer, you may have been under-prepared. If you’re used to the snow, you could be wondering why it took this long to see so much snow.
It’s January, and there hasn’t been a good amount of snow that lasted longer than a few days yet. December brought a couple storms, but the weather had reached temperatures around 50℉, melting the snow within a week. Talking about the current state of the climate has been harder to avoid when our New Year’s are relatively green and warm. My grandmother said we were being “spoiled”. I would say we’re approaching danger.
While there isn’t an immediate solution that’s possible for college students that would solve the climate crisis, there are ways to make your snow days a little easier. The winter season is just starting, and more snow storms and snow days are just waiting to hit.
Make sure to check your email daily. If you’re not signed up for text alerts, you can check your email, USM’s Facebook and Twitter, the USM website, or USM’s emergency/storm line (207-780-4800) will have updates on if classes are canceled. Your teachers may also decide to still hold classes remotely, so be on the watch for updates like that.
Don’t let yourself worry about the dining hall, either. Brooks Dining Hall won’t close on snow days and will be open their normal hours. USM keeps Brooks Dining Hall hours up-to-date on their website, including for holidays and breaks. If, for some reason, Brooks was closed, it would be updated on their website.
The Husky Line runs independently of the University, so it’s possible the Husky Line could still be running on a snow day, or it could be not running when it isn’t a snow day. The Husky Line is a part of the Greater Portland METRO, so be sure to check the GPMETRO site as well for any updates if you need the Husky Line for transportation.
On the topic of transportation, if you have a car on campus, pay attention to parking bans – you will get towed if you are parked in the wrong lot. These parking bans are put in place so it’s possible to plow the lots and pathways. Tuition is already expensive, let’s not add any more fees to your budget.
If your car is stuck in the snow, the Facilities department has shovels that can be checked out at the Facilities Management building. Having ice scrapers and snow brushes should be an essential tool to keep in your car. If you need to go out, plan ahead and be safe.
Be aware of the late-night plowing. Campus needs to be kept safe at all times, which means there will be staff plowing walkways and roads throughout the night, which can get a little noisy, unfortunately. Be patient and kind with these staff members. They don’t want to be up that late either, but they’re keeping us all safe.
Most importantly, have some fun! If you live on the Gorham campus, take advantage of all the hills around and go sledding. Stock up on hot chocolate packets from Husky Hideaway and make a warm cup. Get ahead on homework. Do some self care activities with your roommate. Just use the day to rest and recharge. All storms pass, and winter won’t last forever either, so you might as well enjoy the moment while you’re here.