NSU was hit with severe snow the week of Feb. 15 to Feb. 19, which caused problems across the city of Natchitoches and the campus itself.
“It is anticipated that this area could experience extremely cold temperatures with wintry mix over the next several days. We will continue to monitor local conditions and keep you updated if weather conditions impact university operations next week,” Northwestern State University President Dr. Chris Maggio said in a press release sent out to students on Feb. 12.
NSU was set to resume in person classes on Wednesday, Feb. 17 but due to the severe weather, was forced to make the rest of the week virtual.
On Feb. 15, Maggio sent out another press release that stated all classes on all NSU campuses, face-to-face, HyFlex and online, would be held virtually due to wintry weather conditions and icy roads.
Housing on campus was also impacted. All residence halls were without power and water, and students on campus were advised to seek shelter in Iberville Dining Hall because it was the only place near the residence halls with a generator.
“With intermittent power outages and running water issues affecting residence halls on the main campus of Northwestern State University, residential students who are without power can report to Iberville Dining Hall, which is powered by a generator,” Maggio said in a press release sent on Feb. 17.
“Students who are residents of Varnado Hall, University Columns, University Place I and University Place II who are without power and seek shelter at Iberville should bring pillows, blankets, medication, phone chargers and other items in preparation to stay for several hours. Masks are required and students should observe social distancing guidelines,” Maggio said.
Chancy Daigle, freshman secondary education major, said she left her dorm at about 5 p.m. to seek shelter at Iberville and ended up staying there until about 12 a.m.
“In all honesty it was not that bad. I was able to have dinner there which I was thankful for,” Daigle said. “My roommates and I ended up bringing a few card games, so we sat around and played. We ended up meeting some new people while we were there.”
Hannah Peppers, a sophomore psychology major, said she was in Iberville for about five hours before the power came back on.
“It was honestly a lot of fun. It surprised me how easily my roommates and I made friends,” Peppers said.
On the Northwestern State Student Concerns Facebook page, Vanner Erikson, director of recruiting, continually sent updates about the conditions in housing to students.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, power was restored to most residence halls on campus except for University Place II.
Water pressure remains low on all campus buildings but are set to improve. Erikson posted in a comment section on Facebook that students should withhold from doing laundry until water is fully restored to campus. Laundry facilities will not open until Wednesday to ensure full water pressure has been restored.
Power and water have been restored to all residential buildings, according to Director of Housing and Residence Life Stephanie Dyjack.
University Columns Clubhouse is no longer being utilized as a warming and charging location.
Classes will resume on all learning platforms (face-to-face, online and Hy-flex) on campuses in Natchitoches, Leesville and Alexandria Wednesday, Feb. 24. Classes on NSU’s Shreveport campus will continue to be held virtually until all water issues have been resolved, according to an official press release.