Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

It’s a winter wonderland at Augustana

January of 2019 has had awful weather for the Midwest. We’ve had about 3 snow storms and temperatures have been subzero more than once per day. During this time most students hope for Augustana’s College Express Service, also known as ACES, to safely get them through the night
However that’s not the case, because almost every night ACES has closed due to inclement weather. Particularly, on Jan. 26, ACES closed before 2 P.M. stating it wouldn’t reopen later. However, the problem lies not with the drivers and directors at ACES, it lies within the school. Augie refuses to give the people at ACES a vehicle fit for midwestern winters.
During my freshman year I drove for ACES. It was a fantastic job and allowed me to imprint a map of campus which, as a freshmen, really helped me feel at home here. However, when it came to winter time the ACES vans could not withstand Illinois snowstorms. Various times I was unable to get up 38th street hill and unable to stop mid-slide going down 30th street. Spinning out in the parking lots and getting stuck on small hills became a nightly occurrence. The vehicles provided by the campus were acutely insufficient to deal with the worsening road conditions.
According to an ACES driver: “[the vans] could use some winter tires but we’re already over-budget as is and neither van drives well in this weather.”
The safety of students should not be forfeit to under-budgeted systems, especially ACES, which is important to the safety of this campus during times of dangerous weather.
With ACES regularly being closed the campus pathways and stairs are woefully unprepared for students to sullenly march to class head-on. Students should not have to inch their way between classes or slide down the stairs on a campus of this stature.
We should easily be able to salt or sand each pathway before 7 or 8 in the morning. Yet each morning students slip on their way to campus buildings for class. The college has experienced too many midwestern winters to be surprised by sudden ice or snow that needs to be salted.
ACES director and sophomore Caleb Gruden commented, “student safety is our number one priority, including the safety of student drivers. So if the road conditions are bad we don’t want to put any of the students in danger. The best solution would be to get a car that has better traction or a four wheel drive in the future for worse conditions.”
Augustana’s winter preparation needs some work. Walking to classes in the morning is dangerous when stairs and walkways are icy and snow covered. ACES is vital to the campus and steps should be taken to improve on the safety of this program.

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It’s a winter wonderland at Augustana