Taylor Budzikowski | The Echo
Upland's frigid temperatures on Jan. 30 and 31 prompted class cancellations and office closures Taylor has not experienced since 2015.
The University experienced temperatures of eleven below zero last week which caused a campus shutdown only one day into Spring semester. Amid the campus deep freeze, the Taylor community collaborated to keep roads cleared, shuttles in operation and necessary offices open to ensure student safety.
While students spent the cold days resting inside their residence halls, many campus personnel worked around the clock during the two frigid days.
"It really does take an entire University to come together . . . to make these couple of days successful because without somebody in that chain of doing their part, it probably would not work," Chief of Police Jeff Wallace said.
Even Vice President for Student Development Skip Trudeau was just as willing to shovel snow as a facility worker. Wallace said the campus-wide effort was a testament to the Taylor community.
The police department, facility services and food services remained open during the cold days. In addition, residence life, the provost and the president's office were constantly in communication before, during and after the winter weather impacted Taylor.
Wallace explained that Taylor considers numerous factors to instigate a campus-wide shut down during winter weather.
"Everything hinges on the safety of our community and that would be the students, faculty, staff, visitors that may be coming (and) events that may be happening on campus," Wallace said. "All that is taken into consideration and every decision we make we aired on the side of caution in regard to personal safety."
The University also relies heavily upon the advisories of the National Weather Service and Grant County Sheriff's Department.
Amid shutdown, campus personnel must prepare backup water supplies and generators in the chance that power may fail. Additionally, campus personnel ensured students could access food despite cold temperatures.
According to Provost Michael Hammond, while buildings like the Kesler Student Activities Center, Zondervan Library and LaRita Boren Center remained open during the day then closed early to ensure safe travel home for staff members.
During the campus shutdown shuttles were available for student use to get to the Dining Commons and residence halls safely.
"I thought the shuttles were so helpful," freshman Hannah Fair said. "They even went out of their way to drop people off and pick them up."
Taylor relied on effective communication and people who worked behind the scenes to get through the cold weather.
Overall, Wallace said students were appreciative of measures campus police, facility services and administration took to keep campus safe on Wednesday and Thursday. Campus personnel do not foresee future closures due to winter weather.
"Everybody was very understanding during an inconvenient time and willing to do whatever it takes to get through it together and I think that is what makes our community special," Wallace said.