Nearly a foot of snow fell last weekend, leaving cars stuck in their parking spaces and students scrambling to move their cars before the police tucked a ticket under their windshield wiper in advance of the plows.
But when tragedy struck and people needed help, some men of Hillsdale College rose to the occasion.
As the snow fell in sheets through Saturday night, a dozen guys from Galloway Residence shoveled the parking lots of both sororities and women’s dorms from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
After digging out their own cars in the Galloway lot, the men kept their shovels in hand and walked across Hillsdale Street to clear the parking lots of Olds and McIntyre residences as well as the Chi Omega and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority houses.
“We just wanted to do something nice for our neighbors,” sophomore resident assistant Kyle Froisland said. “Plus, we all have terrible social lives anyway so it’s not like we had anything else to do.”
It was not just a bunch of young men sweating through their scarves, however. The men said they had fun, enjoying each other’s company while giving a huge hand to others in the process.
“We just thought that it’d be a good way to hang out with friends on a Saturday night, and make anyone’s day a little bit easier and maybe a little bit brighter,” sophomore Scott Lowery said. “The best part was just throwing shovels full of snow at each other.”
But it was not only the young men of the Hillsdale studentry who helped combat the worst of the winter storm.
The security office and its team helped dig cars out, jump car batteries, and transported people around campus during the storm. They worked with the college’s grounds crew along with the Hillsdale College Emergency Response Team (HCERT), a volunteer group which helps to remove snow in places that the larger plows and machines cannot reach.
“The big machinery they have can’t clear small spaces around buildings, like sidewalks and areas close to doorways, so security did it. I think removing the snow was really beneficial and would love to see more students get involved,” Director of Security William Whorley said.
Senior Victoria Watson’s experience with the snow shows the sort of aid that the security team offers to the students.
As she backed out of the gravel lot behind her house on Manning Street known to off-campus residents as the Waffle House, she backed into a snowbank and her car’s front end began to slide down the hill beside the lot.
Her wheels weren’t getting any traction and she ended up in the middle of her neighbor’s snow filled yard.
Friends tried to come to her rescue to dig her out, but they left with little to show for their effort. She called the security patrol hotline and Rick Coon came and helped shovel out the entire backyard of the house next-door so that she could drive through their yard and out to the alley behind.
“It was a lot of pushing, a lot of digging, a lot of shoveling,” Watson said. “Kind of traumatic and irritating.”
Before Coon left, he was able help Watson further.
Bright neon fluid stained the snow around her car and a stench hung in the air. Coon popped the hood and made sure the car wasn’t a danger to anyone and then recommended a mechanic to Watson who could help.
“My three girlfriends and I probably could have gotten out eventually by ourselves at some point, but it is always good to have a little more manpower,” Watson said.
Assistant editors Cal Abbo and S. Nathaniel Grime contributed to this article.