Archive for January, 2009

Some students find parking a harrowing process


A car stands alone in a makeshift parking spot Thursday in the Communications Building parking lot. Plant and Services Operations Director Phil Gatton said that the mixture of snow and ice has caused failure to some equipment and delay in getting all parking lots plowed. Edyta Blaszczyk ~ Daily Egyptian

After university officials closed campus for two days because of poor weather, SIUC greeted students Thursday with limited parking spaces and massive mounds of snow.

Most parking lots on campus were half-plowed, rendering many students unable to find a parking space. Those who found space were in danger of being stuck because of lingering ice and snow that amassed from a winter storm that had struck Carbondale two days earlier.

Phil Gatton, director of Plant and Service Operations, said progress has been slow because snow and ice interfered with some equipment, which meant most of the work had to be done with shovels.

“I’m sure there are a lot of people frustrated and I apologize for that,” Gatton said. “We were given a difficult storm and we’ve tried to deal with it the best we can.”

As of 11:45 a.m., only five rows at the SIU Arena parking lot had been cleared.

Christina Trapani, a sophomore from Herrin studying finance, said she would have been fine with the decision to open campus if the lots had been cleared.

“We had softball practice today and we needed to get to the stadium, and they hadn’t even plowed that parking lot,” Trapani said. “I thought they could have plowed yesterday when we had the day off. I thought that was why we had the day off.”

Chancellor Sam Goldman said the decision to open campus came when he drove around campus with Gatton. Goldman said though conditions were not completely clear, they thought it was clear enough to resume classes.

“We were aware there would be some difficulties,” Goldman said. “All in all, it looked like the campus should be operational. It wasn’t perfect, but it was operational.”

Lot Two, which is located east of Anthony Hall, was completely clear at 8:30 a.m.

Kathleen Plesko, director of Disability Support Services, said she received no complaints and was pleased with the work the Physical Plant had done to clear parking lots, sidewalks and roads.

“Our Physical Plant has really been climbing a mountain day and night trying to make things work,” Plesko said. “To me, at some point you have to go and do the hard thing (and open campus). Of course it’s not going to work for everybody, but I think they’ve done a phenomenal job to this point.”

Reza Habib, a professor in psychology, said he had trouble finding a parking space in a lot west of Lawson Hall.

But Habib said he understands why campus was opened after being closed for two days.
“From a faculty point of view — for people teaching Tuesdays and Thursdays — that’s a whole week they would have lost from a semester,” Habib said. “It puts a lot of strain on students to cover the material.”

Lt. Harold Tucker of the SIUC Police Department said officers were encouraged to help with parking and not write tickets unless necessary Thursday.

“We’re just trying to facilitate students, faculty and staff,” Tucker said. “We’re using extreme caution and not writing tickets, but just trying to facilitate safe parking and travel.”

Though the threat of tickets was lifted, some students found parking to be a frustrating process.

John Folak, a senior from Chicago studying aviation, said his car became stuck when he tried to park at the SIU Arena before a 10 a.m. class.

“They just should have plowed these lots, they had all day yesterday,” Folak said. “If they were going to open the campus, they should have had the lots plowed.”

Folak said he had to call a friend to pull him out

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from Daily Egyptian:

SIUC shut down for second straight day, expected to be open today

Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As the university shut down its campus for a second consecutive day Wednesday, poor weather continued to pose a hazard to students and community members around Carbondale.

The National Weather Service reported more than an inch of snow had covered the area by 5 p.m., and many motorists were trapped in banks of snow produced by city plow trucks.

Randy Mathis, a spokesman for the Carbondale Police Department, reported six crashes as of 3 p.m. All were minor wrecks with no injuries, he said, and the department had been getting several calls from motorists for assistance.

Mathis said they were still encouraging people to stay off the roadways if at all possible.

The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 30 degrees for today with a chance of light snow in the evening. Friday’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies with a high in the upper 20s, while the rest of the weekend should not include anymore snow.

Colburn Dittmer, a senior from Omaha, Neb., studying agricultural systems technology, said he saw a tow truck get stuck while trying to dislodge another vehicle from the mounds of snow.

But while some students had problems with their cars, others enjoyed the time off school.

Dittmer said he spent his Tuesday with a group of friends sloshing through the snow with a Jon boat on the back of a truck.

Sean Morgan, a senior from Naperville studying agribusiness economics, said they took his roommate’s boat out to the arena and went sledding with it. Their plans were to do more of the same on their second day off from classes.

Dittmer said he was hoping for a third snow day, but SIUC spokesman Rod Sievers said today’s classes would unlikely be cancelled.

Brad Dillard, associate director of the Physical Plant, said campus crews would work through the night to clear parking lots and walk ways on campus.

“All of our resources are at work and we have a lot of work ahead,” he said.

Sievers said the winter storm also caused damage to the campus farm, which suffered a collapsed roof because of the weight of snow and ice. Sievers said no people or animals were injured but a barricade surrounding the building would be put up to protect students and animals from the hazardous building.

SIUC campus police officer Sergeant Bennie Joe Vick said officers kept busy overnight by trying to keep students off the Campus Lake.  He said they chased between 30 to 40 students off the lake.

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SIUC is closed today

I remember during our time, SIUC was closed twice. One was because of 20 inches of snow.


Announcement from SIUC Offical Website:

Due to bad weather conditions, SIUC will be closed Wednesday, January 28, 2009. For more information, call 618-453-5375 or 866-264-6420.


From Daily Egyptian:

Inches of ice keep campus closed

Rachel Snow

Although 2 to 3 inches of snow and ice meant a day off for students, for the university’s grounds crew the weather resulted in more than 13 straight hours of labor Tuesday.

University spokesman Rod Sievers said the circumstance was notable especially because it was the second consecutive year for the university to close because of weather.

 Inches of ice keep campus closed  Although 2 to 3 inches of snow and ice meant a day off for students, for the university’s grounds crew the weather resulted in more than 13 straight hours of labor Tuesday. University spokesman Rod Sievers said the circumstance was notable especially because it was the second consecutive year for the university to close because of weather

Inches of ice keep campus closed Although 2 to 3 inches of snow and ice meant a day off for students, for the university’s grounds crew the weather resulted in more than 13 straight hours of labor Tuesday. University spokesman Rod Sievers said the circumstance was notable especially because it was the second consecutive year for the university to close because of weather

“It is kind of unusual that we would have to close two years in a row,” Sievers said.
Brad Dillard, associate director of the Physical Plant, said road-clearing preparations began Friday. Physical plant staff made sure the snow plows and salt spreaders were ready for the storm, he said.

Chancellor Sam Goldman said he decided to call off classes at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on the recommendation of Phil Gatton, director of plant and service operations.
“We are committed to try to get it open, but if it is a danger to the people on the campus, we will not open,” Goldman said.

Gatton recommended canceling classes because their crews could not get all of the roads clear and safe.

Dillard said the workers were out at midnight trying to get the roads cleared and worked up until 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to make the roads and sidewalks safe for everyone.
As of 6:30 p.m., Wednesday classes had not been canceled.

“At the moment school is on,” Goldman said. “The decision will probably be made early (Wednesday) morning.”

Shawn Henry, manager of environmental services for the city of Carbondale, said city workers concentrated on the primary snow routes, which he said were in good shape.  Steady sleet and snow kept workers from clearing other routes, he said.

Henry said the city issued a snow emergency declaration, which those who park on emergency snow routes will be ticketed or towed.  The declaration is commonly issued when there are two or more inches of snow or ice, he said.

Henry also said the city would suspend recycling for the remainder of the week, and people should store their trashcans inside.

Carbondale Police Officer Randy Mathis said one minor accident with no injuries had been reported by noon Tuesday.

Dillard said that the storm was to continue through Tuesday night. He said crew members expected to be out all night again clearing roads and sidewalks.

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From Daily Egyptian: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Administrators say retention problem main reason for decrease

Source: Provost Don Rice


Despite a rise in the freshman and sophomore classes, a retention problem with upperclassmen has led to a 1.5 percent decrease in enrollment, administrators say.

Provost Don Rice said enrollment for freshman and sophomore classes is up more than 11 percent from last year, but a 12.9 percent decrease in juniors and seniors is sinking early enrollment numbers.

The drop reflects a continuing problem that has plagued the university for years.

Enrollment peaked in 1991 at 24,869 students, according to university records. By fall 2007, that number had fallen to 20,983. Enrollment numbers affect everything from faculty and staff salaries to building maintenance.

more: [click here]

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Selamat Pengantin Baru to Lokman Hussin – eldest child of Mohd Hussin Ali and Noraini Ahmad.

Many of us took this opportunity to meet up with old friends that we have not met for so long. There were 20 of us including the host – at least based on the list that I gathered to update the “Who is where” page.

After more than 20 years you surely have difficulty recalling some of the names. But never mind – it is not the time to feel offended.

As a quick update of the blog, I would like to share some of the photos in this brief posting.

Group photo after the majlis - some had left

Group photo after the majlis - some had left

When Hussin & Noraini made their round to our table

When Hussin & Noraini made their round to our table

More photos to come. I am also hoping others who came could share their photos and/or comment/article – please.

A big thank you to Hussin and Noraini for making it sort of our mini-gathering – we are looking forward for this similar one for your other children.

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“Tempat jatuh lagi dikenang …” is not just a Malay “peribahasa” that we learned during our school days but I am sure we definitely find it true to its meaning.

Carbondale used to be our kampong and coincidentally rhymes well thus we playfully call it Kampong Dale. Be it just for a semester of intensive English course before you went to another university, life in Carbondale was full with memories. For some, you spent years there beginning as a single teenager coming home many years later not just with huge baggage but you bring home a family of your own.

Such days throughout the four extreme midwest seasons in the southern tip of Illinois, where the student population is more than or equal the population of the local residents, there were so many nostalgic moments that still linger and we rushed to share every time we meet our old friends from Carbondale.

Thus, this blog was created after a long breakfast get together with Hazimi, Zambri (Teng) and Wan Burhan at a stall by the roadside along a busy KL street. We had too many stories and nostalgic moments to bring back and laugh at until we realised that it was already time to go when the crowd started to come for their lunch. Well, I have not met Zimi for the good 20 years that also explained.

With this blog, it is hope that all those who had spent some days or years in Carbondale would be able to share with others their sweet memories, maybe some sad moments too or just say anything about those days in Kampong Dale.

I welcome all of you to drop a few paragraphs (send it to my email, below). It would always be nice if accompanied with some sweet old photos.

Do frequent this blog.


Karim Omar (1982-1984)

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