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Staff, students brave snowstorm to keep campus running

As a massive snowstorm blasted the region over the weekend, Facilities crews worked tirelessly to clear snow from roads and pathways and Dining Services staff served thousands of meals to students on campus.

Jack Malone, director of physical plant services for Northeastern Facilities, said the Facilities snow-removal team worked in shifts around the clock throughout the weekend. He noted that amount and intensity of the snow proved challenging, but crews kept pace with the storm and cleared snow from roads and pathways all across campus. They returned overnight Sunday into Monday to remove snow from the Forsyth Street area.

Due to their efforts, the Northeastern campus is fully operational and is open on Monday.

“All in all, it was a spectacular effort by the snow team, including the students who worked with us,” said Malone, noting that early city and state snow emergency declarations played a critical role by keeping people off the streets so snow-removal teams could clear streets and pathways on campus.

Northeastern students also pitched in, including many who regularly volunteer, as well as others from intramural sports club teams. Meaghan Meech, a fifth-year student majoring in criminal justice, said this was the worst storm she’s encountered while working as a snow-removal team member throughout her time at Northeastern. She recalled one of the most challenging moments was shoveling snow at 3 a.m. while standing in snowdrifts up to her waist.

Meech said that the university’s snow-removal effort was very organized, and even though the job was exhausting, she enjoys working with many of the same students and staff members storm after storm. “We have fun with it,” Meech said. “We’re just out there to help.”

President Joseph E. Aoun praised the efforts. “A community is at its best when it comes together to keep its members safe,” he said. “This weekend’s historic blizzard proved just that—our fearless staff and brave students battled the elements to make sure that our campus remained a safe and secure environment. I want to thank Jack Malone for his leadership and everyone who participated.”

As Facilities crews’ were hard at work keeping campus safe and passable, Malone noted that many students also took advantage of the whiteout. “I’ve never seen so many snowpeople being made throughout campus,” he said. “There were also a lot of snow angels. Students were having a lot of fun with that.”

Check out the photo slideshow of campus during the snowstorm.

From left to right, Lauren Hopkins, Rob DeSanti, Maureen McCaffrey, Samantha Genardi, Liz Kadow play in the snow on Centennial Common.

Northeastern’s Dining Services also worked throughout the blizzard to ensure students were well fed. About 40 staff members stayed in the city from Thursday through the weekend and provided 5,500 meals on Friday and another 6,500 on Saturday at International Village and Stetson East.

“The Dining Services staff was incredible,” said Maureen Timmons, director of Dining Services. “They really showed their true commitment to the university and its students.”

Updates on all storm-related developments can be found on the emergency website.