Inclement Weather Presents Challenges for Students and Staff Alike

Story posted February 17, 2021 in CommRadio, News by Kyle Cannillo

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mother Nature is working overtime this week.

Monday night, a dangerous ice storm swept through State College, forcing Penn State to delay any in-person activities. Elsewhere in the United States, we are seeing record snowfall in the heart of Texas. The inclement weather has been causing problems all week long, and it looks like there is more on the way.

With so much precipitation in so little time, the question must be asked: How Penn State is handling the conditions?

Chandler Mayhew is a part of Penn State’s snow removal maintenance crew, and he says it's been quite the challenge.

“When you have a quarter inch of ice like that, it’s not good,” Mayhew said. “You’ve got to come out and you’ve got to salt it, then you have to shovel it, then you have to salt it again. Get [it] melted.”

Mayhew says that while he is in charge of the White Building and HUB Parking Deck, each crew is assigned to its own building to split up the work. 

Like everything, the pandemic has altered what was once known as a “snow day.” Even if in-person classes get canceled, students can continue to attend class via Zoom.

Emmy Vitali is a freshman at Penn State. She says she misses the feeling of having a day off. It might just be a thing of the past.

“I always remember those school nights before a snow day checking the snow day calendar at night,” Vitali said. “It’s a bummer that those days are probably over.”

And that's not the only thing the pandemic has changed weather-wise.

“Working with these masks sucks,” Mayhew said. “Standing outside, it's already cold, and you’re breathing heavy. You don't want a mask over your face trying to breathe.”

Vitali credits Mayhew and his maintenance team for doing a great job making her feel safe on campus.

“It's definitely been very icey, but Penn State’s maintenance team has done a really good job clearing the ice,” she said. “They make sure the sidewalks are safe for students to walk on.”


Kyle Cannillo is a broadcast journalism major at Penn State. To contact him, email

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covid-19 , pandemic , weather , zoom