Students and staff weather the snowstorm together

When Georgia State’s campus closed on Tuesday, Jan. 28, students living on campus revelled in a chance for a few days off—but also had to find somewhere to eat.

“I am really happy because I haven’t seen snow in a really long time and I don’t have to go to class,” DesMonet’ Cooper, a sophomore and Piedmont North resident, said.

At the Piedmont North residence hall, many students are making their own plans to enjoy the snow since they do not have class today.

University housing staff said snow ball fights are out of the question, and sent out an email saying, “For your safety and the safety of others in the community, snowball throwing is NOT ALLOWED. The Piedmont North staff will be monitoring this and if in violation you risk being written up.”

But students continued to play in the snow despite the email.

Though playing in the snow is fun, some of Piedmont North’s residents have concerns about having food to eat in the dining hall.

Cooper said that she thinks that the dining hall will be impacted in a negative way due to the large number of students that will be in there.

“Remember yesterday? It is going to be just like that times two, because students don’t have to wake up early,” said Albert Harris, a Piedmont North Resident, referring to the massive number of students that crowded the dining hall the day before.

Jasmine Quarterman, a sophomore and Piedmont North resident, said that she doesn’t think that the snow will have a big impact on the dining hall because they have food stored in the back. She added that she also doesn’t think it will be as crowded because people from other dorms aren’t willing to walk over to Piedmont when Patton Hall is also going to be open.

Suzanne Paltz, Piedmont North dining hall manager, said the dining halls will not be affected by the storm.

“There will be a larger number of students dining in the dining halls. Our staff have been well prepared for this event and most staff members have been able to report to work on time. Some staff have even stayed on campus throughout the closure to ensure that Georgia State students are fed,” Paltz said.

“We’re open with our full schedule; for breakfast, lunch and dinner we’ve had our regular operating hours,” Patton Hall Dining Hall Manager Victor Wicher said.

“Obviously it’s been a challenge for personnel to get here. We’ve had to make do with what we’ve had,” Wicher said.

Though Wilcher went home on MARTA last night, many of the Patton Hall cooks stayed overnight.

“They pushed benches together [to sleep]. The Commons was nice enough to give us a couple of rooms over there,” Wicher said.

Despite the trouble, the dining hall staff is dedicated to making sure students are able to eat.

“The students are here, and we’re here for them, so we’re considered essential personnel. We’ve got to open—rain, snow, the Post Office creed, right? We’re making do. Most of my people have done an outstanding job getting here; they really did an outstanding job,” Wilcher said.

“Our employees have the opportunity to work extended hours based on staff availability, and their efforts to feed GSU students are greatly appreciated,” Paltz said.

Dee’s Market, the convenience store located down the street from Patton Hall and across from The Lofts, also stayed open throughout the day for students.

Cindie Jaynes, an employee at the market and an undergraduate student studying Social Work, expressed her concern for students stuck on campus without any access to food. Two Christmases ago, she cooked Thanksgiving dinner for students who were unable to travel home for the holiday.

“I have a passion for the kids, because they’re our customers and our friends,” Jaynes said.

“I got the email that campus was closed, and I [thought]…’how are these kids going to eat?’ so my husband and I drove by and I was going to come back later but then we had customers waiting, so he dropped me off. So I’m just here to make sure you guys have somewhere to go.”