Amid freezing temperatures and snow storms, UA students have dealt with icy road conditions, flooded apartments and a loss of power while still attending online classes.
Intermittent snow storms have left a thick blanket of snow across Fayetteville, which recorded a record low temperature of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. In-person classes at the UofA have been canceled since Feb. 15., and university officials have yet to determine if students will return to campus Monday.
Jorge Gomez, a junior, said the pipes from his apartment’s sprinkler system at University House burst Tuesday, and water started gushing into the living room. He and his roommates spent almost two hours scooping water, which traveled into their bedrooms, sprayed onto their balcony and soaked their second floor. The water leakage also ruined his television and speaker set, Gomez said.
“It was the craziest situation ever,” Gomez said. “It was as if there was a fire hose spraying straight into our living room.”
Because of the damage, Gomez and his roommates stayed with friends Tuesday night. They were able to move into a different apartment Wednesday, where they expect to stay for the next 1-2 months, Gomez said.
Other students have also had to temporarily move due to weather conditions. Allie Morse, a sophomore who works in clinical services at a Springdale hospital, has been staying in a hotel, since Monday to avoid poor road conditions. In addition to paying for her hotel, the hospital is also offering a shuttle service between the hotel and the hospital to help employees safely commute to work, Morse said.
“I’ve grown up in Arkansas my entire life, and we don’t ever get any type of snow like this,” Morse said. “Just to have the option to be able to stay in a hotel and be less than five minutes from the hospital is very nice, especially when I have very little experience with driving in these conditions.”
Amid the challenges posed by the winter weather, UA students are continuing to attend classes online. Graduate student Neba Evans struggled to complete her schoolwork after losing power Monday night. She immediately notified her professor, who was very understanding, she said.
Without access to the Internet on her computer, Evans attempted to do research for a school paper on her phone, which she said was very difficult. While her power returned Tuesday morning, Evans said she could not imagine trying to attend online classes without power like some students have had to do.
“It would be cold, we would have to throw away all our food and we would be so hungry,” Evans said. “I feel like I wouldn’t be prepared to do anything schoolwise.”
Because of the recent increase in online classes, many students did not get to fully experience snow days like others in past years. Gomez said he thinks the university should still offer full snow days, because sometimes students just need a day to have fun.
Morse said she also thinks it is important that students have time during snow days to go outside and be with their friends and family, without having to attend virtual classes.
“Especially in the middle of the pandemic, you’ve got to have that time where you can just go have fun, go take a break from school and go enjoy (yourself),” Morse said