Res Life, CDS work around snowstorm

The departments focused on avoiding possible food shortages and power outages.
Plaza 900 dining hall sits blanketed in snow Wednesday. Select dining halls, including Plaza 900, remained open while classes were canceled Tuesday through Thursday, but operations were scaled back.

The snowstorm that blanketed Columbia and a major portion of the Midwest has altered many operations on campus during the past few days.

Two major concerns circulating among students were possible food shortages and power outages. Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said the university’s electrical system is well suited to withstand inclement weather.

“We do not anticipate an electrical outage,” Seville said. “The University of Missouri has a redundant electrical system, meaning if one portion of the campus loses power, diminished electrical needs can be fed from another substation located elsewhere on campus.”

Seville said the campus’ electrical lines are underground, which offers additional protection since the lines aren’t exposed to ice or heavy snow like with traditional lines.

Campus Dining Services spokesman Andrew Lough said CDS has a policy for weather issues in order to adjust to delayed food deliveries and staff shortages.

“We have an inclement weather policy that kind of dictates what we do any time that the university feels the need to cancel classes,” he said. “The reasoning behind the policy is that with classes being cancelled there are fewer people on campus, so we need to scale back our operations.”

Among these alterations are the closing of certain dining halls and reductions in the number of staff workers at each dining hall, Lough said.

“What we do is kind of look at geography,” he said. “With Eva J’s being right across from Rollins and Plaza 900, it makes sense for just one of our residential locations to close.”

In addition to the closing of Eva J’s, the j Café and the Bookmark Café, some dining halls began using plastic plates, silverware and cups Tuesday night, which Lough said was due to the staff shortages during the storm.

Aside from these reductions, Lough said CDS plans to keep dining hall operations as normal as possible for students.

“With this storm we’re kind of playing it by ear,” Lough said. “We’re just operating under the assumption that we’re going to be able to offer our regular menus and our regular variety and selection, and then if things change we may start scaling back a few things.”

Director of Residential Life Frankie Minor said the Department of Residential Life is providing additional activities for students during the snow days to combat cabin fever.

“We’re doing various things to make sure their spirits are up,” Minor said. “Whether it be the Rec Center staying open or the women’s basketball game Wednesday night, we’re just making sure there were some outlets for students.”

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