Snow Problem

Razed from the nearest nimbostratus cloud some 6,000 feet overhead, a gang of snowflakes plunges to the streets, disrupting traffic and the ability to stand, but alas, not morning class.Join the snow fort.

On March 16, according to Fox 29 meteorologist David Aldrich, two more futile inches of sludge packed onto the 197-inch pile mounting since the infamous Blizzard of 1996: the last time Temple officially bowed down to the pasty heavens.

Cars were skidding and butts were bruising,
but sophomore Rakiya Wallace was able to park hers in class Friday morning.Coming from her apartment at The Edge at Avenue North, the broadcasting major didn’t need evidence of snow plows to tell her school was in session.

“I gave up hope. I knew they would be open,” Wallace said. “I didn’t even bother to check [Temple’s] Web site.”

Through the muck and mire, students followed each others’ shallow footprints, careful not to let Temple’s unmoving snow policy dampen anything more than their spirits on their way to class. This path seldom led to the Food Pad outside Anderson Hall, where only a few vendors
bothered with business.

One of them was Fame’s Pizza, manned by co-owner Jimmy Amzovski, who’s “worse than a mailman” after holding post for about 20 years. “I can only remember one time where they shut down school for the whole day,” Amzovski said. “We had like three feet of snow that day. Any other time they’ll shut it down during the afternoon.”

Since this storm didn’t possess the fury of flurries to bury Philadelphia 30.7 inches deep, as did the Jan. 8, 1996 nor’easter, Temple withstood notifying students of a 2:30 p.m. class cancellation until 2:40 p.m. on its Web site.

“They wait too long to do it, because it was dangerous when it started,” Wallace, 19, said. “It was dangerous in the afternoon. Why wait till you absolutely need to close the school before closing it?”

Amzovski wanted to know too, especially after cooking pizzas that turn cold enough to actually warrant gloves. “When they cancel classes, everybody just leaves. … I end up throwing away a lot of stuff,” he said.

Facilities Management was unavailable for comment on the matter of class cancellation, however, Capt. Denise Wilhelm of Temple’s Campus Safety Service was not.

She said the reason for the lack of closings has its roots in Temple’s history, and not in how many flakes reach the concrete walkways.

“Temple used to be a large commuter school and I think they do take [canceling class] in consideration,” said Wilhelm, who has trudged Temple’s campus for 15 years. “But they also have to take into consideration
that people want to get their education.”

Commuter student Chin Ukwu said the real reason why Temple holds classes requires one to dig a little deeper. Into their pockets.

“I think Temple’s insane for holding classes during snow. I think they do that because they realize some students, like commuters, won’t make it on campus and then they’ll be behind in classes,” said Ukwu, a sophomore biology major. “And we’re going to have to retake our classes and give them more money.”

Steve Wood can be reached at

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