Editorial: Thank you, NMU Grounds Crew

NW Staff

Winter is in full swing. The blistering winds, low temperatures and heavy snowfall have caused the university to cancel classes for four days during the Winter 2013 semester thus far. From Monday, Feb. 18 to Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Upper Peninsula was blanketed in more than 20 inches of snow.

While students have enjoyed their snow days, there are those working on campus who toil and work to keep paths clear for students, faculty and staff: the NMU Grounds Crew.

On a normal day, the grounds crew begins work at 5 a.m., but on days where heavy snowfall covers campus, these dutiful workers clock in as early as 3 a.m. in order to keep walkways, parking lots, building entrances and roads clear.

And there is a lot of snow to remove: NMU Grounds Supervisor Terry Eilders estimates there are some four miles of streets, 20 miles of sidewalks, between 40 to 60 acres of parking lots and more than 100 building entrances that must be kept clear during the snowy winter months.

On average, there are five to seven grounds crew members working to remove all of the snow on campus so students can travel back and forth to class unimpeded. When the snow and wind is blowing, the grounds crew has been known to work as much as 16 hours a day.

Offer thanks to these workers for helping to combat the elements so that everyone at NMU can get where they need to go on sanded, salted ground which is free of knee-deep snow. While students are sleeping, these individuals are working.

A clear path is something many students may take for granted. The NMU Grounds Crew has been a tremendous help to the NMU community this semester, and it is important to let them know how grateful all of NMU is for their tireless service.

The North Wind staff knows all too well what it is like to work on a day the rest of the university has off, but there is always a plowed parking lot and a clear path to our door. For that, The North Wind staff applauds the hard work of the NMU grounds crew.