On Saturday, Jan. 29, Wellesley students and five dining hall workers who had stayed overnight awoke to about a foot of snow covering the College’s campus. The dining hall workers stayed overnight on campus to ensure there was food for students in the morning. Julie Jordan, resident director of dining services, explained that dining hall workers were offered the option to stay overnight at the College Club to avoid having to drive through the snow.
“The availability of the College Club as an overnight option for the staff played a key role in keeping them safe,” she said, in an email to The News. “They did not have to drive distances during the storm, and being close afforded them the ability to arrive early at the Culinary Centers so they could be ready and open on time.”
Jordan and the dining team also had to coordinate with their vendors to make sure they had enough product on Wellesley campus before the storm hit.
“In anticipation of the storm, we worked with our vendors on changing delivery dates so that we could have product on site, in advance,” she said. “The dining team worked very hard prepping items the day before, and teamwork the day of made it all happen.”
While some of the roads and pathways were cleared, students still had some difficulty navigating the intense wind and snowfall for meals throughout the day. This snowstorm was the worst storm experienced by Kimberly Kimura ’23 since coming to Wellesley. Kimura, a California native, made sure to prepare to the fullest extent for the storm.
“I’m from California and have these preconceived notions,” she said. “My parents called me before [saying] ‘Make sure you charge all your portable batteries,’ thinking the power was going to shut down, but it wasn’t really like that.”
Helen Wang, associate dean of residential life and community development, commended the dining staff and leadership for their efforts, as well as Wellesley students for being considerate of the constraints in the dining halls.
“Students were great — so patient and understanding of the constraints that we had with dining,” she said in an email to The News.
Wang recommended that in the future, students should prepare for storms not just by bundling up, but also enjoying the snow itself.
“Hunker in and prepare by bringing all of your favorite things close so that you can really have an awesome day,” she said. “Use it as an opportunity to slow down and rest and of course, channel your inner kid and get out in the snow.”
Kimura also enjoyed the snow more than she expected.
“It was just a normal day with a ton of snow outside, and it was fun to play outside,” she said. “ [I was] surprised with how everything went back to normal after the big blizzard on [Saturday].”
Since the dining staff did go to such lengths as to stay at the College Club in order to keep the culinary centers running, Jordan also wanted students to be aware of the hard work that went into it.
“I would like to convey how extremely dedicated the dining team is to the Wellesley College Community,” she said. “They knew there would be challenges the day of the storm … The teams worked diligently together to overcome weather induced obstacles to ensure a great dining program while maintaining the variety available to students. When you visit the culinary centers, please thank the staff for all they do every day.”