Slippery Sidewalks: Are They Hurting Students in More Ways than One?

By Christina Sterbenz

The sidewalks surrounding campus are slippery and dangerous. Many women (and men for that matter) refuse to wear proper footwear with adequate traction, instead preferring high heels or moccasins. These people will most likely have a bad, even potentially fatal, experience.

The section of campus that raises immense concern is the sidewalks on Walnut Place and Ave., also known as “Frat Row.” This region has caused many a person to fall, followed by extreme embarrassment and sometimes injury.

Eric Reilly, a sophomore entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises major and Alpha Tau Omega brother, tries to avoid slipping. “At least five times, I’ve slipped and fallen on my ass,” said Reilly. “When I walk down Walnut Place past Tri Delt, it’s never salted. When I go from Whitman (Read More) to ATO, I always have to walk carefully.”

Katie Hoole, a freshman policy studies major, had a similar experience during Panhellenic Recruitment. “All of the Rho Gammas told us to wear boots and bring heels during rush week because the sidewalks on Walnut are not shoveled,” Hoole said. “It was so funny seeing all the girls holding onto each other because it was so slushy.”

According to SU’s Housing and Food Services Maintenance Zone website, FixIt only handles maintenance in dining and residence halls. Instead, Physical Plant has a monopoly on plowing, shoveling, salting and all other tasks that accompany snow, but only in some areas.

Physical Plant Director Allan Breese said the city plows Walnut Place and Ave. The university only performs maintenance on areas adjacent to its property, and the majority of the residences on these streets are fraternity and sorority houses not owned by SU.

In the un-plowed areas neighboring campus, the University Neighborhood Partnership Committee developed a new plan to clear snow and salt certain sidewalks. According to an “Inside SU” article by Jaime Winne Alvarez, these areas includes sections of Harvard Place, Westcott Avenue, Euclid Avenue, Lancaster Avenue, Ackerman Avenue, Sumner Avenue, Livingston Avenue and Ostrom Avenue. Somehow Walnut missed the list, meaning the university continues to turn its cheek to the struggles of slipping students.

For those who walk down Walnut, I give this bit of information: (330) 654-1122. That is the number for Elk & Elk—“serious lawyers for serious injuries.” They’re one of those firms with the falsely compassionate, yet somehow hilarious local commercials on TV. Call them if necessary.


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