Burlap Sack: Icy sidewalks on campus

Imagine: penguins in boots

We’ve all been there: you’re briskly walking to class, hoping to make it on time. It’s the dead of winter and, even though the temperature is well below zero, you decide to brave the outdoors to shave a minute or two off your journey. Then it happens. Your feet slip out from underneath you and you slam painfully onto the concrete. You’ll almost definitely be late now and your bruised knees are covered in snow, all because of a sheer coat of ice on the sidewalk.

No matter how you slice it, slipping on icy sidewalks on campus is the pits. It’s a perennial winter frustration, and no matter how diligent maintenance is about putting down gravel, we all seem to end up falling on our butts every year. 

There are a few things you can do to mitigate this problem: use indoor pedways when possible, walk slowly and carefully, and beware of areas without salt or gravel. There’s even a penguin walk that apparently works wonders. But it seems that the ice will always find a way to get you eventually. You have to go outside sooner or later, and once you do, the ice will be waiting. Maybe it will be under an innocent-looking patch of snow, so you never see it coming. Or maybe it will be the dreaded black ice, the completely transparent kind that looks like an unthreatening patch of road. 

Short of avoiding the outdoors altogether or wearing crampons at all times, it seems that adapting to the icy skating rink that is campus during the winter is an unfortunate fact of life. So put on your best pair of boots and make like a penguin, and hopefully you’ll only slip once or twice this year. 

Christine McManus

Christine McManus was the Managing Editor for 2019-2020 at The Gateway. When she's not writing articles or at choir rehearsal, she enjoys spending quality time with her cat, Scotty.

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