Though the university was closed on Saturday, Jan. 23 due to the impact of Winter Storm Jonas, student life at Montclair State University did not stop for the snow.
While many commuter and resident students went home for the weekend, several residents stayed on campus to brave the storm.
Alyssa Tung, a senior Fine Arts major and a resident of The Village residence hall, was one student who made the decision to stay at Montclair State for the course of the storm, although she has a car on campus and could have easily made the journey home.
What convinced Tung to stay was not the threat of driving to her house in East Brunswick on snowy or crowded roads, but the possibility of not making it back to campus in time for Monday classes. “I didn’t want to wait until the roads were clear and try to find a way back here at the end of the weekend,” Tung said. “I thought, ‘Might as well just stay.’”
That is exactly the struggle that Senior English education major Taylor Spencer now faces. She went home to Haddon Township, about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Montclair State, for the weekend and is now crossing her fingers that her ride back up tomorrow afternoon will go smoothly.
“It snowed constantly,” Spencer said of the storm yesterday. “There were times where it just looked completely white outside. We got at least 24 inches, but there were high winds which were problematic because there were snow drifts everywhere.”
Spencer hopes that the roads close to her house and the university campus will both be clear enough that she can get back to Montclair State without trouble.
While the snow was a major inconvenience to some students, others appreciated the temporary reprieve that it provided from everyday routines and even took advantage of the snowy conditions as an opportunity to have fun.
Tung said that the storm was relaxing because it provided her an excuse to stay inside and get some work done, but also to venture outdoors and play in the snow. She and her roommate trudged to a nearby hill and rolled down it while the snow was still falling.
“When I went outside for a little bit, it was pretty brutal, but I like going out in the snow, so it was fun,” Tung said. “Everything was closed, so there was nothing to do. I was just trying to entertain myself.”
Tung wasn’t alone in her snowy adventure. Several students could be seen making their way outside to check out conditions and have fun. One user on YikYak even posted, “One of my legitimately favorite sounds is people laughing and playing in the snow,” with a happy face emoji.
Not everyone met the snowfall with a happy face, however. Some students posted frustrations about the Student Recreation Center being closed on YikYak and Instagram, while others are still hoping for a Monday university closure.
During the storm, some students preferred to find entertainment inside rather than out in the snow. Tung said that she noticed her residence hall was louder than usual, with shouts and noises coming from the floor above and other rooms in her hall.
Despite reports of increased noise, Jorge Estacio, the RA on duty for Saturday in Count Basie Hall where Tung lives, says that nothing was out of the ordinary for him while on duty. “I think the cold made everyone want to stay under warm sheets,” Estacio said. “I never got a call.”