Editorial: Slip-sliding to a warmer spring

Pitt-Johnstown students have been noticing that campus slopes and parking lots have been slick this semester due to weather that does not seem to let up.

Community members may be concerned not with just snow-filled parking lots but also with the ice that lingers afterward.

Physical Plant employees have been doing their best to clear campus walkways and have switched to three newer pickup trucks with snowplows. Workers are often seen clearing and salting campus walkways for students bright and early every day.

Some complain, however, that walkways are clear for only a portion of each day, roughly from 11 a.m. to mid afternoon. Some UPJ community members are concerned with the possible dangers of the icicles hanging on campus buildings.

Physical Plant employee John Baumgardner said it is not the workers’ responsibility to remove the icicles because they are attached to the buildings.

He said they are responsible for removing them once they hit the ground, but they are not liable for the ones that have not yet fallen.

Pitt-Johnstown freshman Drew Dearden said he was yelled at by campus police for attempting to knock icicles from a campus housing building.

Campus police told Dearden they put in a maintenance request to have the icicles removed but it has yet to be done.

After these icicles melt off the buildings, they could cause further problems by leaving ice on the ground where people walk.

If Physical Plant employees are not responsible for removing the icicles and students are not allowed to knock them down, there is no one to be held accountable for removing them.

Although Physical Plant employees are mainly focused on salting campus walkways so that students don’t slip and fall, they should also be concerned with the fact that there is no one technically in charge of removing these potentially dangerous icicles from buildings.

If those concerned with the icicles are getting no response from maintenance workers or campus police, they may feel as though they have no choice but to knock them down.

This may be an example as to why students may feel their complaints aren’t always taken into consideration.

Physical Plant employees, campus police and UPJ administrators could benefit the Pitt-Johnstown community by making sure all requests are being considered and each department’s workers are aware of their specific duties.

And, all attempts should be made to make the campus safe for those who travel on foot, including those attending early morning and evening classes.