American University Tackles Historic, Record Breaking Winter Head On
Essential campus operations continued before, during and after historic snow storm
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) February 15, 2010 -- Snow in Washington, D.C. is typical. This much snow is not.
While the city and the surrounding areas have essentially been shut down since the first storm began, at
American University, life on campus continued.
More than 175 essential employees in public safety, facilities, the library, residence halls, dining services, and the
fitness center, among others, worked around the clock to ensure that students were fed, sidewalks and roads were
cleared, and the critical needs of the university were met – since the university was closed from noon on February
5 through February 11.
Even before the first snowfall, the staff in the Office of Finance and Treasurer began preparations, salting
sidewalks, and checking building heating systems. In December they had already removed close to three cubic
tons of snow.
In the residence halls, housing staff worked with a team of students including 70 resident assistants and desk
assistants to provide countless hours of coverage so that the rest of the student population could work, study, eat,
and sleep during this historic experience with as little disruption as possible. Read more about how students on
campus weathered the storm.
In the School of Communication, professors used this real world experience to their advantage, producing a snow
edition of American Observer, and continuing class assignments by communicating with students via email and
Blackboard technology. Read more about how SOC dealt with the storm.
Reluctant to postpone a lecture, Professor Daniel Esser in the School of International Service, used WIMBA
technology to set up a virtual classroom where students viewed the entire lecture online and communicated with
each other through instant messaging and online audio. In the School of Public Affairs, Professor Saul Newman
created audio lectures from