Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Campus Center provides electricity, warmth for off-campus students

By Herb Scribner

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Herb Scribner/Collegian

Herb Scribner/Collegian

When snow first touched ground on Saturday night, some students at the University of Massachusetts weren’t anticipating a nor’easter. Some students figured they’d still have power, they’d be able to shower and they would have class on Monday.

Instead, Monday morning came and there weren’t any classes, some students hadn’t showered and their homes remained dark from the damaging snowstorm.

“I’ve lived in New England for 12 years, and I’ve never seen a storm do this much damage,” said junior Robert Bender, who shacked up in the Campus Center.

“I thought it was unpredictable. I didn’t predict it to be what it was,” said junior Lizzie Coyne, who was using the UMass Campus Center to boot up electronics on Sunday.

“I didn’t anticipate it to be as much as it was,” said junior Kathryn Connon. “First it was just a dusting. It was definitely shocking.”

Connon and Coyne both live in the Puffton Apartments, just off campus towards Sunderland. Both said that Puffton was without power, and that it could take a couple days to a week for the apartments to regain electricity.

 “I can’t cook, can’t see anything, I can’t play anything,” said Bender.

Bender kept himself entertained without power by bringing his flat-screen television, Playstation 3 and copy of Batman: Arkham City to the Campus Center basement, where he placed all these items on a wooden table.

“This seems like a nice setup right here,” said Bender. “It’s something to do in between homework.”

Bender, who lives off campus off Rt. 9 in Hadley, said he was at the Campus Center all day yesterday before returning home.

“I slept in the cold, bundled up,” said Bender. “Depending on how it is, I might stay here [tonight].”

“It’s a snow storm … six days without power,” Bender added. “Needless to stay I’m sick of power outages.”

Sophomore Hannah Ryan said she felt that the campus should have been prepared for the power outages, but that people shouldn’t make a big fuss about it.

“I feel like they probably should have been prepared, but, we live in New England and this is what happens. I don’t even have my hat and gloves yet,” said Ryan.

Ryan said she drove on Saturday night and wasn’t used to wide roads, because her hometown in Cape Cod has narrow roads. She also said the roads were not plowed well on Saturday.

“It sucks. It’s gross out. Last night was pretty bad,” said Ryan.

Coyne and Connon each said that despite terrible weather conditions, students still braved the stormy conditions in order to go out. 

“It was cold, but people were like chanting and throwing snowballs,” said Coyne.

After snowball fights and the snow had settled, there were trees down all across the Pioneer Valley. Coyne said that he felt these fallen trees presented one of the biggest issues for those involved in recovery efforts.

“Trees are down everywhere and no one is looking at the trees to fix them,” said Coyne.

On Sunday, students also struggled to find cell phone service across campus. Coyne, Connon and Ryan all said they weren’t able to get their phones running in the early to late hours of Sunday.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected]

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