Snowfall, slipping and swifter timing: students react to parking lot clearing plan


Liv Allen

Lower pedestal view of the Hamilton parking.

by Liv Allen, ID Magazine Editor-in-Chief

Simpson students were notified via email about Residence Life’s parking lot clearing plan on Wednesday, Feb. 2. The plan required students using certain parking lots to move their cars by 6 a.m. of their lot’s designated days.  

The email was sent by Matt Hansen, Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life. He detailed the rationale behind Residence Life’s plan: 

“Residence Life is working with the Grounds Team to improve the snow/ice concerns in the parking lots on campus. One main challenge is that cars in the lots prevent proper snow removal and we now have hardpack/ice in many areas that need attention. We will have warmer weather on Friday of this week (2/4) as well as next week. To capitalize on this, we will have students move cars out of designated parking lots on certain days (schedule below) for a full clearing of the lots by the Grounds Team,” Hansen stated in the email. 

Clinton and Hamilton’s lots had to move their cars on Feb. 4, Greek Housing on Feb. 8, Picken and Buxton on Feb. 9, North BPAC on Feb. 10 and Colonial and Washington concluded the clearings on Feb. 11. 

Upon completion of the parking lot clearings, some students feel that the parking lot clearing plan could have been executed better. 

“I think it could have been handled a lot better and I don’t think it would have taken that much to do it,” senior Maria Veasey said.  “It snowed quite some time ago, and they didn’t really do anything about it until quite recently. If they got rid of some of the snow sooner –or even were better at pouring down salt — I don’t think it would have resulted in as much ice as it did.” 

Veasey, a Hamilton House resident, said that at one point nearly the entire Hamilton parking lot was covered in ice—resulting in what could have been a serious injury. 

“I got out of my car one night and there was a sheet of black ice that I couldn’t see and I slipped,” Veasey said. “I had parked in one of the slanted parking spaces and actually fell down and landed really hard. I cut up my elbow and bruised my back.”  

Sophomore Lincoln Swanson, a Buxton resident, echoes Veasey’s sentiments about the poor timing of the parking lot clearing plan. 

“I think it could have been done sooner, just because of the fact that we had a couple 40 degree days, so the snow melted by the time they got around to it, but it was a good plan in place anyways,” Swanson said. 

Swanson said that he thinks the grounds crew handled other incidents of snow removal well but still thinks the Grounds Crew should work on removing snow sooner. 

“Some people don’t have four-wheel drive and can’t get out of their parking spots when it snows so they have to shovel themselves out,” Swanson said. 

Junior Chaeli Moir is a community advisor in the Washington Apartments; she agrees that the parking lots should have been cleared sooner than they were, and said the clearing plan was met with little fanfare from her residents. 

“I think it could have been timed better by having the residents move their cars the week it snowed, not later on,” Moir said. “A lot of my residents were frustrated but are understanding of how hard it is to get around the cars. They wished there was a better system for clearing the parking lots, though.” 

She thinks Simpson could be better served to communicate with students about snow clearing more thoroughly. Still, she thinks the Grounds Crew did a good job clearing what was left in the parking lots. 

“I think Simpson Grounds [Crew] did the best of their ability to clear the lots. There are so many cars and obstacles that would make it hard for them to clear it perfectly,” Moir said. “I think Simpson should talk with students more and coordinate times to move their cars to clear out the lot more efficiently.” 

Those with questions regarding snow or ice removal and parking should contact Matt Hansen at [email protected] or 515-961-1562.