Staff Editorial

Arriving back on campus after the winter break, Lawrentians were welcomed not only by the usual brutal January temperatures but also by a thick layer of ice on sidewalks and paths. This ice rendered the usually pleasant Main Hall to Downer walk a treacherous journey. While our language may seem strong, the sidewalk conditions did make for some uneasy walking, close calls and quite a few falls.
Lawrence is a residential campus where walking is the main way of getting from place to place, and Lawrence students spending so much time as pedestrians certainly amplifies the chance of injury that sidewalks caked in ice present. The slick paths made locomotion especially difficult for those with walking disabilities, whether temporary, such as being on crutches, or more lasting conditions.
While Physical Plant could not prevent Mother Nature from taking her due course, it is Physical Plant’s responsibility to ensure safe conditions for all students and faculty to live and work. Because of the rising price of salt — a result of shortages — and Wisconsin’s unpredictable winter weather patterns, we understand that it is difficult to always stay one step ahead. Be that as it may, ice continued to be a hazard for Lawrentians for an extended period of time and still lingers in some locations.
Directly outside of residence halls, salt was properly and promptly dispensed, producing satisfactory results due to the diligence of the custodial staff. However, this was not the case in longer stretches of walkways in between destinations such as Main Hall and the library, where the majority of walking takes place. It was difficult to ascertain whether salt was applied at all in these places or simply wasn’t doing its job.
We hope in future cases that salt is applied more readily and ice is removed more effectively so the safety of both students and faculty is guaranteed.