Winter Storm Jonas, which covered much of the east coast with multiple feet of snow, proved to be a great inconvenience for the start of the upcoming semester. The blizzard made roads impossible to drive on for days, shutting down most of Maryland and of course UMBC. Both move in day and the first day of classes were pushed back not one, not two but three days.
Despite this snowy setback, once everything had been settled, the transition from break back to university life went by smoothly. Interim Director of Residential Life John Fox discussed the organization of move in day. “All of our efforts had been for move in on Sunday,” said Fox. “What we would have done on Sunday we moved to Wednesday instead.”
Even with the inconvenience the delays caused for Residential Life and for students, Fox said, “Ultimately it’s about the campus’s ability to ensure safe student conditions.”
One of the greatest factors in contributing to an easy move in was ResLife’s ability to adapt to issues such as weather related emergencies. “ResLife is very flexible; it’s easy for ResLife to adjust to these changes,” said Fox. “Our biggest concern was making sure students were kept up to date each day and that they knew when the university was opening.” Fox continued, saying that Wednesday “was absolutely the correct time” for move in and that on Wednesday, “the campus was truly ready for students to be here.”
However, the people working for ResLife are not the only ones to thank for Wednesday’s successful move in. Fox commended all the essential work that made UMBC prepared for move in. “Our workers on campus, our facilities management, our contractors worked tirelessly to help clear the snow and what they were doing was so crucial to our success and move in,” said Fox.
Despite the feelings of campus staff, some students did not agree with the decision to delay the opening of campus until Wednesday. Adam Ballantyne, a freshman mechanical engineering major and an out-of-state student, stated his disdain for the delayed move in. “I thought it was very inconvenient to someone like me who lives in Virginia because I had to keep unpacking and repacking,” said Ballentyne. “They should have allowed people to come back if they were able to. Where I was, the roads were good to go after about a day.”
Despite the differing views on whether or not the delayed campus opening was essential, with the semester now in full swing, the snow days are becoming a distant memory.