Students say ’cicles need a-hammerin’

Eden Cohen, News Editor

Students continue to fear for their safety as ice and icicle issues persist around the townhouses.

Last year, an Advocate reporter wrote about townhouse residents’ concerns regarding ice and icicles around their residences. The problems have returned.

Townhouse resident Shane O’Hare said large icicles hanging above townhouse doors have become a concern.

Fellow resident Corey Rook is one such concerned resident.

“I feel (the icicles are) a safety hazard because both doors to the townhouse have large icicles hanging in front of them,” he said.

Townhouse resident Nichole Mains agrees.

“The icicles that hang from our townhouse does make me wonder what could possibly happen if one were to fall when I come in or out of my door,” she said.

“It is alarming to see these gigantic icicles dangling above your head that look like they could fall at any moment.”

Last year, Physical Plant employee John Baumgardner said icicle-removal is not Physical Plant employees’ job since the icicles are attached to the house.

This year, Housing and Residence Life executive director Mark Dougherty said an icicle-removal effort would be coordinated by Physical Plant, not Housing.

Without knowing who to turn to for help, residents have taken icicle-removal into their own hands.

O’Hare said he and other residents have resorted to throwing snowballs.

“We have been trying to do our part by throwing snowballs at (icicles),” he said.

Mains said a particularly threatening one was hovering over her door a couple weekends ago, so she and some friends threw a snowball at it.

They did so preemptively, so it wouldn’t fall on someone after being shaken from a closing door.

“Before doing so, we made sure no one was close enough to be harmed,” she said.

But someone took responsibility.

Residents said they heard someone knocking down icicles early Friday morning, and saw them cleaning up the remains later.

“I woke up to the sound of (icicles) being taken off and saw the remains of them on the ground outside,” Mains said.

Aside from the possibility of falling on someone, icicles offer another danger as they melt.

“The biggest problem is the water that drips from the icicles because it causes thick sheets of ice right outside our door,” Rook said.

This has led to even more concerns.

“It turns our walkway into an ice-skating rink,” Mains said.

Rook said he knows a couple of students have tripped on the ice. Mains said she found an older man who fell on the ice outside her home.

“There was not a single piece of salt on the walkway,” she said. “What if this older man would have actually cracked his head open from falling on the ice?”

Some residents said they do not feel university officials are concerned for students’ safety.

“Our campus makes us attend class, but do(es) not think about the risk of a student being in danger,” Mains said.