By Jared Bundy – Editor-in-Chief
Following the massive snowfalls earlier this month, California University of Pennsylvania officials are beginning to analyze the university’s response to the snowstorm and students are sounding off about that plan.
Cal U did all it could during Vulcan Blizzard 2010 and the university should have stayed closed all week, university officials said.
Vice President of University Relations Angela Burrows said Cal U does have an effective emergency response plan and that was proven with this storm response.
“[The plan] worked as expected,” Burrows said. “We used every means of communication available: media, Twitter, Facebook, the [Cal U] Web site and e-mail.”
Burrows said the plan was successful despite the large number of obstacles encountered beyond the university’s control.
“Given the state of emergency in the borough and the need to remove cars from streets, the university pulled together and managed things well,” Burrows said.
That state of emergency was a determining factor in the decision to cancel classes for the week after the storm. In addition, the number of faculty, staff and students without power and poor road conditions also contributed to that decision.
“That decision was never seconded guessed,” Burrows said. “The university was also requested to close by the borough through the state of emergency.”
Burrows also said that the final decision to close the school was made with a conference call that included Cal U president Angelo Armenti and his cabinet of the seven university vice-presidents, which included herself.
“Together with the president, we as a group made that decision,” Burrows said. “[Armenti] updated us on what the borough was recommending and as a group we went that route.”
Apart from the emergency plan’s effectiveness, many students have questioned whether school needed to be canceled all week.
Royce Warner II (sophomore-meteorology) felt that the response time was not only slow to start, but also took way too long.
“Coming from Garrett County (Maryland), I have seen what it takes to clear roads in order to have school and it doesn’t take a week,” Werner said.
Burrows said the Physical Plant is in charge of the snow removal and has been limited from the start of the snowfall as to where they can place the snow. Despite the limitations, they have done the best they can to clear the lots.
Some students supported Burrows statements, drawing comparison to storm responses by other cities. Nate Wright (sophomore-computer engineering technology) agreed that Cal U did the best it could given the amount of snow and power outages.
“California University needs to be commended for their response to last week’s storm,” Wright said. “Most of what students have been complaining about are out of the control of the university.”
Chad Philistine (senior-meteorology) disagreed, and thought the university should have had a quicker response time.
“[The university] wasn’t prepared the first time around,” Philistine said. “They should have been out there and working on the roads and everything on Saturday.”
Icy, dangerous sidewalks continued to be an important point brought up by many students, including Philistine.
“They should have salted and treated the sidewalks as best they could,” Philistine said.
Stay with the Cal Times for the latest information on Cal U and coverage from Vulcan Blizzard 2010.