Don’t turn into a frozen Grinch this winter

By Ashley Wall, Associate Editor

By Donald Halsing, Editorial Staff

With colder weather coming at us at full force, it’s time to start thinking about snow safety.

“Weather” or not you’re prepared,  New England winter is fast approaching, which means snow, sleet, frigid cold, and slippery streets will soon make doing anything outside inconvenient.

But have no fear, we are here to give you useful winter weather tips to keep you safe and warm. Many forecasts predict a colder winter this year than most. Without the right clothing, you will notice it even more.

Be smart about the clothing worn during these frigid months. Look at the weather and plan ahead. It will feel especially cold on campus as we sit on top of a hill.

Without appropriate clothing, you will feel like the Grinch looking down on Whoville.

While some sellers such as The North Face and Columbia produce great-quality winter clothes, stores such as Target or Walmart also provide quality jackets and winter gear marketed with a student’s budget in mind. If you find yourself unprepared for winter while at FSU, you can always hop on the RamTram to the Natick Mall or Target, where you can find excellent winter garments at reduced prices.

While it’s important to keep your body safe and warm, it’s also important for your vehicle, too. This is especially true for resident students who may not visit the parking lots on a regular basis.

Keep an eye out for FSU’s alerts about snow emergencies. If you’re parking in lots being cleared, be sure you move your vehicle in time for the snowplows to work their magic. If you park behind Larned or O’Connor, then your car will be towed.

If you’re a resident student, make sure you’re clearing the snow off your car and turning on the engine to keep it from freezing or drawing in moisture.

If you plan on using your vehicle after a snowstorm, be sure to clear off all the snow as it’s the law. Drive safely and be wary of conditions on Route 9, as accidents are prone to happen when high speed limits and unsafe winter drivers come into play.

We also suggest always being cautious when walking outside during the winter season. Walk on well-maintained paths and sidewalks, use railings when possible, proceed slowly, and regularly look at the path ahead to spot ice patches.

With the hills we face at FSU, it’s important to be smart about the shoes you cover your cold toes with. The right footwear could save your behind, especially when accidently stepping on those unfortunate slippery spots. We suggest buying good-quality boots with thick treads on the bottom.

Additionally, we have several tips and tricks for navigating FSU on foot during the winter months.

First, if you need to get from the McCarthy Center area to around Larned Beach, walk through Hemenway Labs. This way, you reduce your risk of slipping on black ice while also experiencing its warm oasis.

If it’s late at night and Hemenway is locked, walk along the path behind Labs and past the library. This way, you won’t fall onto the list of students seen wiping out on Towers hill.

If Towers hill is covered in ice, don’t foolishly try to trek up the slope. Instead, take the shortcut through Hemenway Hall and Annex.

Plan extra time to get around campus. If you rush trying to get to your class on time, you may not be as aware of your surroundings, increasing your chances of getting hurt slipping on ice.

And when it’s too dark to spot ice on the path ahead and you feel unsafe walking in the cold alone, you can always call University Police to drive you safely to your destination between 2 A.M. and dawn.

So, this winter season, don’t be the Grinch wallowing in self-pity about not being prepared for the winter months.

Be sure to follow our advice on dressing weather-appropriately, checking on your vehicles every once in a while, and walking carefully around campus so that your heart, too, will grow three sizes too big.

[Editor’s Note: Gatepost Guidance is a bi-weekly column. The opinions of the authors do not reflect the opinions of the entire Gatepost staff.]