“When most students think of an on-campus job, they don’t think of waking up at 5:30 in the morning, when it’s below zero outside, and working,” said Craig Johnson, the new supervisor of the snow shoveling crew for Goshen College campus.
Every time a heavy snow hits, a group of between four and nine students gets up early to clear the sidewalks and entries around campus buildings. This year, they have worked through “probably the most difficult winter I can remember,” said Johnson.
A typical snow morning would look something like this: Mr. Johnson calls his list of nine students at 5:30 a.m., with the expectation that they arrive at the Physical Plant by 6:00 a.m. From there, they divide into groups of two and each take a preplanned route from building to building across campus, clearing the sidewalks and entries.
Depending on who arrives for work, students will sometimes cover two routes in one morning.
According to Johnson, they generally work around the buildings that see the most activity first, and then move to those that don’t get used as much. Usually the process is finished by around 8:00 a.m.
On weekends, the expectation is that students will probably get called later on in the morning and work for a little longer to make sure that all the necessary areas are clear of snow.
Until this year, the Physical Plant has cleared all the sidewalks and parking lots without help. Now, they contract out the parking lots and focus their efforts on clearing the sidewalks throughout campus, Johnson explained.
Students involved in snow shoveling had to complete a brief interview before being hired, so that they knew what to expect. Not everyone shows up all the time, Johnson said, but they are managing. He is impressed with how well they have done in this year’s difficult weather conditions.