UVic Snowmageddon 2019: 3 things I learned

IT SNOWED?! In VICTORIA?! For future students thinking of attending UVic — this is not normal. Victoria is situated in a temperate rainforest… usually we’re known for rainy winters.

This past week (Feb. 8-15th 2019), Victoria joined the rest of Canada with a cold snap. The University was closed for a day and a half (Feb. 11-12, 2019) due to snow – which is quite rare from what I’ve heard. I was surprised when I was told that it re-opened earlier than the military base.

To commemorate this wintery occasion, here are 3 things I learned during my first “University snow” experience:

1. Social media and online communications bombardment will keep you in the loop

You don’t have to keep refreshing the UVic homepage every 3 minutes. UVic regularly updates its website, and in turn ALL its social media channels about the weather. This is to ensure that students, faculty, and staff know about the what’s-going-on of the university. On top of this, thousands of people are sharing, and reposting the same notices. If you’re looking for more information, you can sign up for the UVic Alerts system.

As far as online communications go, they’re top notch. There are numerous groups on platforms such as Facebook and the UVic Reddit to stay up to date and in touch on top of the never-ending slew of Coursespaces/Connex notifications. (Ya know – in case you missed all the other social media and website announcements).

Something a lot of students were asking online was what to do if an assignment/midterm was scheduled and then it was a snow day. Here’s the link for what to do in a case of inclement weather for exams/assignments.

I saw this “snow roller” outside of David Strong the day after our Snow day

2. The transit system does its best to stick to a schedule, but when they say “plan ahead because there might be detours” – they mean it.

Also – Victoria drivers are not prepared for snow driving so it will be slow-going (as it should be) if the snow starts to stick to the ground.

I remember going home at 3:30PM when UVic announced it would shut down for the afternoon. I went to the bus loop and I wish I had taken a picture. Students. Everywhere. The buses were packed, and I couldn’t really see because my glasses and the bus windows were all fogged up. The busses took main roads instead of winding around side streets and followed each other in convoys. It was quite the sight to be part of 18,000+ people from UVic making their way home.

Some people were very committed to getting to school…

3. Snow days are fun but they don’t last forever

This one is pretty self-explanatory but I spoke to a fair number of students who were relying on a snow-day or two to have extra time to study and complete assignments. Some then proceeded to go out and play in the snow and became even more behind in their studies. Others used the extra time and felt better prepared about their work load going back to school after the snow day. Going back to lectures and being behind/speeding through material was not fun. Though I definitely went outside and built a snowman, I’m glad I also made some time to study.

My Snowman!

All in all, UVic was extremely on top of intensely salting sidewalks, keeping students up-to-date and safe, and I’m thankful for the ploughs that kept the roads clear too.

Hopefully, Snowmageddon 2019 has ended just in time for Reading Week (Feb.18-22, 2019 ) travels. The snow wasn’t here to stay but it was fun while it lasted.

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