Editorial: Flooding Response

There are two times during the year when campus experiences a ridiculous amount of flooding: during the fall, typically in September, and during the spring, typically in late March to mid April. Each time the campus and the surrounding downtown Lewisburg area floods, it poses an enormous inconvenience to students, faculty and staff. Granted, the flooding has not been this bad in a long time, but the fact of the matter is it happens like clockwork every year.

The flooding this week has shed light on some topics that we have discussed pertaining to the University’s support of students living downtown. Should the University provide for those students who need to be relocated, either due to flooding or any other type of natural disaster? A flooding of this magnitude doesn’t typically happen, but whether we like it or not, it is happening right now. Should the University be prepared to house students who are evacuated from downtown houses and misplaced for days, even weeks at a time? While we understand that students sign a contract and agree to live downtown on certain conditions, is it their responsibility to find a new place to live if this occurs? While it’s great that the University is supporting it’s students in the short-term, should students and the University be working together to form a long-term plan?

The recent flooding hasn’t only caused us to question the University administration, but students as well. We don’t quite understand why students, after having been told to move their vehicles from certain ‘high risk’ parking places, such as Sixth Street and Harris Parking Lot, continue to park their cars in said areas. We understand that there are a limited amount of parking spaces on campus but is it worth risking your car?

For those who don’t have access to cars on campus, the recent closure of the tunnel under Route 15 connecting Bucknell West with the main campus has been forcing students to cross the highway, something the administration has directly advised against. How are students supposed to cross the highway at night if they are coming home late, say, from the library? Should the University provide a shuttle transportation services to the main campus to Bucknell West, especially for circumstances like these?

Furthermore, students seem to have taken the wrong attitude towards the flooding. The prospect of having no classes for a few days is certainly exciting, but it should not in any way be a point of rejoicing when people–other Bucknellians–are losing their houses. This is not an event to take lightly.

Flooding is a natural event that we have literally no control over. However, it is possible to mitigate the toll that it has on the campus community.


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