On Tuesday, St. Lawrence was hit by its first blizzard in 24 years. Winter storm Stella left its mark on the North Country, with at least 14 inches of snow falling in Canton between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. Despite this storm of historic proportions, St. Lawrence kept its doors open and classes remained in session on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Although lectures continued and exams were given, Laurentians were still impacted by the storm’s arrival.
As the effects of the storm intensified, members of KDS returned to their house’s cold dorm on Tuesday afternoon to find that roughly two inches of snow had blown into the space, covering portions of their bedspreads. That afternoon, the Brush Art Gallery also announced that a gallery talk by Meg Chandler ’17 would have to be postponed because of the storm.
At Dana Dining Hall on Tuesday evening, students saw the first of many storm-related reductions. While Dana was scheduled to serve its popular pasta sauté bar, the meal was modified due to decreased staff. Rather than having each student’s dish individually sautéed, the dining hall served the ingredients separately. “I was a little upset because it was so cold and I just wanted some warm pasta sauté,” explained Kate Angus ’20. “But it was surprisingly delicious because I was able to get more vegetables than I usually do,” she added. On Wednesday morning the University announced that all satellite dining facilities, such as Spartacus Café in Kirk Douglas Hall and Time-Out Café in the Augsbury Athletic Center would be closed because of limited staffing.
The nasty weather, however, did not prevent students from making the trek to the Hoot Owl for the bar’s popular Tuesday Blues special. “I wanted to come for the thrill; anything worth doing is not easy,” said Molli Richards ’17. “Also, shout out to the unsung heroes who didn’t go to Blues, but were coerced into giving sober rides,” she added. By midnight, the Hoot was filled to the brim. Juniors and Seniors embraced their buckets of Labatts and swapped war stories of their respective snow-filled journeys to the bar, which included at least one student arriving on cross-country skis.
Although classes were officially still in session, some professors decided to cancel their classes due to the region’s treacherous road conditions. “Both my history and government classes were canceled on Wednesday, so I slept until 11:30 a.m.,” explained Lucy Burr ’20. Other professors were less hindered by the by the snowy conditions. Anthropology Professor Miny Pitre, who resides in Canada, conducted her classes via webcam so that they could still cover valuable course material.
The storm caused road closures throughout the eastern portion of the North Country, and prompted Lake Champlain Ferries to halt operations between Essex, N.Y. and Charlotte, Vt. for 24 hours. Closer to Canton, students also ran into trouble traveling. “I was supposed to head to Potsdam both on Tues-day and Wednesday for an appointment but couldn’t make it either day,” noted Nick Filannino ’20.
Being used to the snowy lifestyle of the North Country, many Laurentians reacted to the unseasonable storm with excitement, rather than dismay.
By Wednesday afternoon, fresh cross country ski tracks could be spotted along the Avenue of the Elms and campus gradually began digging out from the effects of winter storm Stella. In what is likely the last snowstorm to hit campus this season, Stella offered St. Lawrence students a final opportunity to embrace Canton’s unique climate, explore the school as a snowy wonderland, and post a final winter photo on Instagram before heading south for next week’s spring break.