Last week’s winter storm forced UTA to adapt in order to ensure the safety and well-being of students living on campus.
The weather event brought snow, ice and record-breaking temperatures that affected power, Wi-Fi and access to food and water.
Mikkya Wright and Janice Nuwayo, nursing freshmen and Vandergriff Hall residents, said they prepared by going shopping for food the weekend before the storm in order to avoid having to go out in the cold.
However, losing internet connection throughout the week caught them off-guard.
“We were having to do our schoolwork at different times of the day when the internet was actually working,” Wright said.
The storm disrupted their normal routines, and they both struggled with less motivation and productivity.
Despite this inconvenience, Wright and Nuwayo believe Vandergriff Hall handled the weather well. They were grateful that the front entrance door, which had jammed early in the week, was quickly fixed.
Students were helpful in notifying the university of power, water and internet issues quickly, according to university spokesperson Jeff Carlton. This allowed UTA personnel to address each issue as quickly as possible.
UTA personnel posted printed notices in the common areas of residence halls and went door to door to communicate altered dining hours and the availability of warming centers, charging stations and bottled water, he said.
“The university was proactive in keeping in-house plumbers and contractors on-site and on-call,” Carlton said in an email.
Some personnel slept in campus housing in order to respond to water leaks at all hours, he said.
University personnel also relocated 20 students to new units, Carlton said.
Tanisha Debose, critical languages and international studies sophomore, went to the store prior to the storm to get essentials like food and water, and she said she’s grateful she did.
“I felt like I was prepared because my parents really stressed on me that the weather was going to be really bad,” she said. “They just kept harping on me [to] go to the store.”
Debose’s parents live over two hours away, and her closest relative lives almost an hour away. All of her relatives within driving distance had lost power, so she’s glad her apartment complex maintained power throughout this week.
She lives alone with an emotional support animal, so dealing with this storm by herself was mentally taxing.
“Honestly, I feel like having a roommate would have made it a lot easier,” she said.
This is Debose’s first semester at UTA, and she’s feeling the stress of being behind in her coursework due to the storm.
“I am going to be absolutely stressed,” she said. “I’m already trying to catch up as much as I can.”
However, Debose believes the administration did a good job handling the storm and taking care of students by offering them resources.
“I feel like the school handled this very well and just made sure they communicated with the students at all times,” she said.