Yasmin Tadjdeh, News Editor

Although ‘Snowpocalypse’ has been over for two weeks now, the effect of the massive storm is still clear at George Mason University.

When students returned on Friday, Feb. 12, much of the campus was covered in knee-high snow, despite the efforts of Mason to clean up the campus. Although significant progress can be seen currently, the storm still continues to cause headaches on campus.

With some sidewalks still icy, some students find getting around Mason to be a challenge.

For some time, according to junior English major Katy McCaddin, the stairs behind Student Union Building II were covered in snow. McCaddin stated that “they were literally a ramp.”

McCaddin was also concerned with the large snow piles that are currently peppering the general parking lots.
“[The snow piles] make driving a little frightening because you have to go out in the road to see traffic, so it is a little hazardous,” said McCaddin. “But I understand why they had to make the piles — they had to get it off the roads.”

McCaddin was also concerned with melted snow that had frozen overnight onto sidewalks, making walking through campus treacherous.

According to Josh Cantor, the director of Parking and Transportation, the massive snow removal was undertaken by Facilities, but his department also pitched in.

“The university facilities department is responsible for the snow removal,” said Cantor. “Pretty much all their employees get assigned snow patrol duties [such as] running the plows, and shoveling the streets . . . [Currently] the majority of the parking spaces are cleared. It wasn’t magic; it took a lot of hard work. Our staff is also pitching in, and doing what we can in certain areas.”

According to Cantor, the snow removal was so massive that outside contractors were hired to come in and help clean the campus.

“Facilities took care of a lot [of] the main lots and sidewalks, and contractors have been brought in to tackle some of the harder areas,” said Cantor.

For example, it took five or six Bobcat tractors two days to clear Sandy Creek Parking Deck, and two days for Lot R. Cantor estimated that the contractors cost about $1,000 an hour.

As for the large snow piles surrounding many of the lots, Cantor said that they were an issue.

“Realistically, there is nowhere to put [the snow piles] without inhibiting parking spaces,” said Cantor.
However, in preparation for this past weekend’s Homecoming game, crews worked to move larger snow piles from Lot A and L to Lot K. Crews were also working on shaving some of the piles to increase visibility.

Allegedly, some snow piles had been pushed into handicapped parking spaces, but according to Cantor, this was a short-term issue that was quickly resolved after contacting Facilities.

To help the snow removal process, Parking and Transportation allowed residents to park their cars overnight in Rappahannock River Parking Deck during the storm and its aftermath.

According to their Twitter account, West Campus permit holders will be allowed in Rappahannock until tomorrow at 7 a.m., while general lot permit holders will be allowed to park on the roofs of the Mason Pond, Sandy Creek and Rappahannock Decks through tomorrow.