Salting policy is dangerous

I was dismayed to learn over Dead Week that the College does not salt its sidewalks during the weekend. I called Facilities to inquire about their salting policy after I slipped twice and fell so hard that a week and a half later the pain continued to get worse, compelling me to go to the orthopedic clinic at the Health Center. (It turns out I have an injury generally associated with car wrecks, when the front seat passenger’s knees slam into the dashboard.) Both of the times that I fell, I was sober, attentive to my surroundings and on College property. When I explained this to the woman who answered the phone at Facilities, she told me that I should have called Security to report the ice.

This raises some questions. First, since when do sidewalks become icy only during the week? Granted, I have only lived in New England for three years, but it has always seemed to me that sidewalks become icy whenever there is freezing precipitation. It does not appear to have anything to do with the day of the week. Second, I feel fairly certain that Security has better things to do than salt campus sidewalks – investigating the racial slur that appeared in Willy E comes to mind. Third, what should I have done after I called Security? Stayed where I was, splayed and bleeding on the sidewalk in front of Wood (and then, two days later, on the science quad) until a Security officer materialized and salted the sidewalk the rest of the way to my dorm?

I am not criticizing Facilities; they do an incredible job of keeping our campus safe and clean during the week. I am, however, furious with whoever instituted this policy of letting sidewalks stay icy over the weekend. I don’t know what the reasoning behind these guidelines is, but it is clearly flawed. I’ll be healed in about a month, but it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

Elizabeth Kohout ’08

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