|CU students Candice Boone of Bardstown, Ky. and Kevin Thomas of Elizabethtown, Ky. track down a CU van on a cold January day. (Campbellsville University Photo by Kasey Ricketts)|
By Drew Tucker, communications assistant
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – An arctic blast hit Campbellsville University and Kentucky Sunday night, causing temperatures to drop to levels not seen in years.
Monday morning it was announced that CU offices were opening an hour later than usual, but that didn’t stop students from arriving on campus for their first week of classes.
Due to the snow and icy roads, there was concern from CU President Dr. Michael Carter regarding the safety of his students and staff, and quickly sent out an email asking for a plan.
“Taking care of students and co-workers must be our highest priority,” he said. “For students who have not experienced bitter cold it could be dangerous.”
Rob Roberts, director of grounds and landscape development, outlined a plan using two 12-to-15 seat CU passenger vans driving around campus for pickups and drop offs.
“We put signs on vans first thing Monday morning that said ‘CAMPUS RIDES’ in the passenger front window,” he said.
He asked that an email be sent out to all students and staff detailing the plan and to call the Office of Physical Plant for pick up locations, as well as to wave the vans down if one is driving by.
“This is a cold and windy chill that many of these students have absolutely no idea about or how to dress for,” Roberts said.
Word quickly spread across campus.
“We dispatched vans for pickups and drop-offs yesterday 21 times,” he said. “Fifty to 60 people (students and staff) moved safely.”
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” Jack Beard, groundskeeper and van driver, said.
“It was pretty nice to not have to get on the sidewalk where you could slip and fall,” Kristen Davis, office secretary for the president’s office, said. “It was a nice touch by the university to do that for everyone.”
“I walked from the Gosser Fine Arts Center to the Winters Dining Hall and was miserably cold. It hurt!” Dr. Mark Bradley, professor of music. “When I had to return, the van was waiting outside the cafeteria, so I got a ride to the front door of Gosser. Thanks so much for providing this service during this unusual time of extremely cold weather.”
“We were thankful and appreciative to not have to walk through the cold and the ice,” Kellie Vaughn, secretary to the president, said.
“CU is the best!” Cindy Ohlmann, mother of CU student Taylor Ohlmann, said. “This mom sure does thank God for the wonderful opportunity her daughter gets to attend Campbellsville University!”
In addition to the campus vans, sidewalks and walkways were plowed and salted and campus security was on the lookout for any students who needed assistance. They also discussed a “game plan” if the power went out across campus.
CU vans will continue picking up students and faculty until it is safe to be outside.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.