By Jane Bowden
Last week, a chilling polar vortex hit the country with below-zero temperatures, causing students to bundle up head-to-toe with every layer they own or to skip class altogether while keeping warm with hot chocolate.
On a Saturday morning in January of 2005, the College was hit with two snow storms that buried the campus in 16 inches of snow and resulted in icy roads that were too slippery to drive on. However, with the efforts of the Grounds and Landscape Maintenance Services who worked tirelessly for 23 hours straight, the College was able to safely open for classes by Monday.
By 10 a.m. Saturday morning, snow had begun falling on the greater Trenton region. In the course of the next 24 hours, between 13 and 16 inches of snow blanketed the College campus as two separate storms, the first significant ones of the season, pummeled the area.
The storms prompted acting governor Richard Codey to declare a state of emergency from 8 p.m. Saturday night to 8 a.m. Sunday morning. This gave police the authority to close roads to all non-emergency traffic.
As the storm bore down, local residents and College students alike flocked to Shop-Rite on Olden Avenue to stock up on supplies. Lines stretched far there and at Hollywood Video as people prepared to hunker down for the day.
Many students, however, opted not to risk the trip off-campus. “We both stayed in,” Sabrina Sichel, junior Spanish major, said, referring to herself and friend Bethany Blundell, junior sociology major. “We refused to leave the building.”
“I watched ‘Pretty in Pink’ and ‘The Face on the Milk Carton’ on TV,” Blundell said, laughing. “(My roommate) and I got so bored we decided to rearrange our room.”
The snow forced the postponement of all activities on campus for the weekend, as well as the closure of the Roscoe West Library on Saturday afternoon into Sunday. All dining facilities save for Eickhoff Dining Hall were closed as well.
As the worst of the storm died down on Saturday night, some students took the opportunity to go out and play in the snow. “Frolicking ensued that night,” Lindsay Korwin, sophomore music major, said. “We played snow football and went snowboarding on the hill by the new chapel.”