It’s “Ice” to be back at school

By Staff Writer Tighe Ratcliffe

With everyone coming back to school from being all warm and toasty over winter break, we once again have become accustomed to certain… amenities.
Like warmth for instance, or a good home-cooked meal (but that’s another story for another time).
But now it’s back to school, and back to reality. UMass Dartmouth students aren’t unfamiliar with the “cold-shoulder” that the campus occasionally gives us when it comes to living arrangements.
It’s not like we’re paying to be comfortable or anything, that’s for fancy schools like Harvard or Yale.
All we ask is that the dorms are above freezing, and that we don’t have to live in fear of slipping on ice and cracking our heads open. We are New Englanders after all, we’re used to the cold.
But Maple Ridge is without heat, causing reports of frost on the INSIDE of the rooms.
And with the temperatures over the past few days averaging in the single digits, the ice is looking pretty slippery. Is it time for UMass Dartmouth to reconsider their preparatory approach when “Winter is Coming”?
To put it plainly, yes. Now granted, global warming is certainly playing its part with solving this problem, but it’s going to be a few years till we can expect a Floridian winter of a nice 60o F (15.5556o C for you science nerds) here in Massachusetts. By that time, we’ll all have (hopefully) graduated and moved on in our lives though. And darn it, we want a solution now.
With construction well under way in lot 7 and 8 for the new Res and freshman dorms, you would think that Dartmouth would have fixed the buildings that are already here. Makes sense right? Well not to the administrators. “New is always better” and “if it’s broke leave it that way,” seems to be their approach.
But I digress, again, it’s not like we are paying for utilities and stuff like that with our tuition.
So what can the school do to curb the oncoming cold front? What can it do to help provide students with the most comfort for the lowest cost? Well the best thing to do is to ask a business major because yours truly is only a writer.
But the best solution would likely be to use some of the money from tuition for utilities and use it to fix the heating systems that need it most. It would have been smart of the campus to have tested the heating systems in all of the buildings before the semester started, that way they could have fixed any broken ones in buildings ahead of time.
As for the ice problem, salt has been known to work amazingly.
However, there was hardly any salt to be found on the sidewalks around campus, leaving several areas to be complete sheets of ice. If the school doubles down on their effort to make sure all walkways are properly “seasoned” we as the student body would be able to feel confident that we’ll get to our classes safely.
But if no one speaks up, nothing will get done. If you want some changes here on campus speak up about them, otherwise things will just stay the same. If your room is so cold that you notice frost developing, let your RA’s know about it. They should be able to notify the right people to get the problem fixed. In the meantime, think really warm thoughts and invest in extra blankets.

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