April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

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Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

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Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

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Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Storm dumps two feet of snow on UMass campus

Nathalie Sczublewski/Collegian

The massive storm that pummeled much of New England over the weekend dumped almost 2 feet of snow on the area, but it spared the University of Massachusetts campus of any power outages or major damage.

There were no storm-related injuries reported in the area, according to UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Brittany Decker, a meteorologist at Springfield-based WGGB-TV abc40, said the storm was “one for the record books.”

Westover Air Reserve Base, which calculates the official snowfall records for the area, recorded 20 inches of snow, an amount that nearly reached the 1949 record of 22 inches, Decker said.

In western Massachusetts, most areas saw between 1½ to 2 full feet of snow. Southwick saw the most snowfall, with about 28 inches gauged, according to Decker.

While the brunt of the storm arrived Friday evening into Saturday morning, officials decided to close campus from noon on Friday until midnight on Sunday.

The campus was originally supposed to reopen on Saturday at noon, but Blaguszewski said officials extended the break to give those clearing the snow a bit more time to work.

“Even with a large crew and equipment, it takes some time,” he said. “There’s a lot of snow to move. The Physical Plant has been working very hard and making great progress, but we decided it was best to provide them with more time to clear things out.”

On-campus storm cleanup and safety procedures, Blaguszewski said, included efforts from staff at the Physical Plant, who cleared sidewalks and parking lots; members of Residential Life, who made sure students were safe in their dorms; and dining hall staff, who made sure that on-campus food services were running smoothly during the storm. Campus police and public safety officials met regularly to ensure that all procedures were being followed, he said.

“We pull the whole team together,” Blaguszewski added.

Many students, meantime, hunkered down when the worst of the storm arrived.

Freshman Susmitha Saripalli, who lives in Dickinson Hall in the Orchard Hill Residential Area, said that she stocked up on food ahead of the storm. Besides that, though, she didn’t have to prepare much else.

Saripalli praised the communication tools the University used to inform students of storm precautions.

“I thought we were all well informed and, because of that, well prepared,” she said.

The University has a variety of ways in which to communicate to students about emergency situations or bad weather, from email and radio to Twitter and text messaging. Blaguszewski said it is “standard emergency practice” to keep those providing updates to the UMass community alert “round the clock.”

Kelsey Pratto, who lives in Wheeler Hall in the Central Residential Area, also thought the University did well with keeping students updated. Pratto described Friday night as being “like a regular Friday night, just less mobility.”

On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Deval Patrick lifted a travel ban that went to effect at 4 p.m. Friday. The order barred everyone but essential personnel and news media from traveling on roads.

Eleven deaths in the Northeast have been blamed on the storm, according to published reports.

Mitch Scuzzarella and George Felder contributed to this report. Chelsie Field can be reached at cfield@student.umass.edu.

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