Since J-term started up a few weeks ago, the Hollins community has dealt with its share of nasty weather. The week classes started, temperatures plunged into the single digits, leading Anna McLaughlin, assistant to the Dean of Students to send out an email warning the Hollins community to stay safe. Students later received emails asking them to keep their heat on, so that pipes wouldn’t freeze, and to cut their power usage, as local power companies were anticipating higher usage than normal. Cold temperatures kept physical plant staff on their toes as they dealt with maintance requests from students whose rooms were too cold, usually from problems such as malfunctioning radiators and stuck storm windows.
As round one of the polar vortex ended, students and staff were granted a weather reprieve with unseasonably warm weather and some rain. On the first warm day of J-term, the West laundry room was flooded with students who had put off their laundry due to the sub-zero windchill.
This past week, Hollins dealt with polar vortex round two, as well as a few inches of snow, and quite a bit of ice. Roanoke expected two to six inches of snow on Tuesday of this past week, but the Hollins community was still taken by surprise when it didn’t start until dinnertime on Tuesday. Students who went to Moody dining hall around 5 PM left the building to see almost an inch of snow on the ground and near-whiteout conditions. Several students participated in late-night sledding and impromptu snowball fights when they realized the snow was not stopping. Wednesday morning, physical plant staff were busy salting sidewalks, despite Hollins’ delayed opening.
While the snow did not keep Hollins down, current dropping temperatures are making for patches of ice here and there across campus. Although some of the snow has melted, the remains of the storm can still be seen all over campus, often in the form of salt residue on the sidewalks and the porches around West, East, and Main. Many students are complaining about the winter season, while others just hope the worst is past.