BY TAYAH GRACE SWEDLUND
Due to recent snow accumulation, County College of Morris students have experienced trouble when it comes to parking. Snow-covered solar panels became a safety risk Feb. 20 prior to 3 p.m., which caused lots 2, 7 and 8 to be closed.
For nursing major M. Kelly, the recent parking issues caused more than just frustration.
“I was worried when I received the Titan Alert because it sounded like the only lots available during my evening classes were 9 and 1,” Kelly said. “I have asthma induced by the cold and exercise so the thought of walking up ‘cardiac hill’ at night was daunting. However, I found a soggy spot in lot 5.”
CCM sent out two Titan Alerts, one assuring the students that engineers had deemed our solar panels safe and another, sent three hours later, announcing that parking lots 2, 7 and 8 would be closed temporarily.
Kelly, also mentioned that this isn’t the first issue she has had with parking at CCM.
“I’ve attended this college for four years now and there has literally been constant construction requiring lot closings and other inconveniences every semester for one reason or another,” Kelly said.
While, she can appreciate how CCM made safety a priority in this instance, she mentioned that all possibilities should have been considered prior to installing the solar panels.
“I think that when the school made the decision to get solar panels, a situation like this should have been contemplated and a plan to remove the snow before it broke windshields should have been thought out,” Kelly said.
Sara Price, an early childhood education major, coped with the parking lot issues by adding 10 extra minutes to her commute. In her opinion, there are too many parking spots that are still covered with snow.
“It’s making parking more stressful,” Price said.
Business administration major Keana Bason thinks that CCM made the right decision by closing down parking lots in order to ensure safety.
Bason, who usually parks in lot 1, also said that “The snow could be moved elsewhere in order to open up some more spots” when asked about the parking spots that are still covered with snow.
In an interview with Ben Horowitz of The Star Ledger, CCM President Dr. Edward Yaw urged any students who had encountered damage caused by ice falling from the CCM solar panels to contact the Office of Public Safety.
CCM was not the only location that experienced solar panel related problems. On Thursday, the same day lots were closed at CCM, an electrical fire occurred in the senior parking lot at Randolph High School. According to the school’s website, there was no damage to the school building and the senior lot, like the parking lots at CCM, were closed temporarily.
Mennen Arena, which uses an older model of solar panels throughout its parking lot, has also experienced problems this winter. Parking was restricted at the arena until all snow and ice could be properly removed.