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December 6, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 39°F

Opinion

Commentary: Ice at IC creates dangerous walking conditions

It was a chilly evening, and I was on my way to the Athletics and Events Center to go to rugby practice. I had just opened my bottle of water to take a sip and hydrate prior to the beginning of fitness. As I stepped out the back doors on the first floor of Lyon Hall, my foot caught on absolutely nothing, no friction at all. I fell. This was not just any slip. This was a cartoon person slipping on a banana peel but even more exaggerated. There were people watching and pointing and laughing, and I thought to myself, “I can never show my face on this campus again.” And then I looked at my left hand, and there was my open water bottle, completely full. Not a drop had spilled. I share this mostly to brag about my fantastic balancing skills, but I also share this to make other fallen students feel less alone. Nonetheless, we must admit we have a real problem on campus.

In addition to below freezing temperatures and the stressful start to a new semester, college students now have a new barrier to face: the ground. On a walk to class or the dining hall on any given day after snow or rain, tens of students can be seen slipping on the ice that cakes our sidewalks and roads. Not only is the embarrassment risk enough to keep some students indoors, but the injury and damage that can come from ice-skating to class has me shaking in my heavy-tread boots.

I write this article so that all of the weather’s victims can feel heard and understood. Most of all, however, I write this article to ask — or, rather, beg — Ithaca College to do something. 

I have my issues with salt. It harms the plants around campus, it hurts the paws of all walks of life without the fortune of wearing shoes and it costs money and time for the college. And while it is true, the grounds and facilities crew are understaffed, salting will continue to happen and the mounds of salt in unhelpful places will continue to be a danger to students. 

The college will salt regardless of its impact, so instead of waiting three days after a snowstorm to even plow the walkways and streets, perhaps we can save a few scraped knees and elbows with the proper preparation for a predictable storm (thank you, modern technology.)

Of course, by now the snow has somewhat cleared on the roads, and you can see, feel and almost taste the tall mountains of salt around campus. However, we must remember a time when walking to rugby practice in Crocs was a death wish and demand change.