Students receive the shockingly cold shoulder

Snow falls Monday on downtown New York City near the Empire State Building. (Photo courtesy of Annie Carr)
Snow falls Monday on downtown New York City near the Empire State Building. (Photo courtesy of Annie Carr)

By Rachel Leland
Staff Writer

New York City and much of the Northeast are bracing for snowstorm Juno, which could potentially affect over 35 million people. Unfortunately, for students with the Baylor Communication in New York City program, the storm could temporarily jeopardize their work.

The program takes students to New York City each semester and focuses on the context of communication in major cities.

“The Baylor Communication in New York program has been through several weather-related emergencies before, beginning with Hurricane Sandy,” said Dr. Joe Kickasola, associate professor in the film and digital media department.

Kickasola is also the director of the Baylor Communication in New York Program.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, the second most devastating hurricane in United States history, hit New York City and prevented the students from traveling to their internships.

The National Weather Service issued a citywide blizzard warning, for New York City, which is in effect until Wednesday morning. The current forecast predicts 18-24 inches of snow.

Despite the severity of the storm, some students remain relatively unfased.

“I am not too concerned about the storm,” said Waco senior Annie Carr, who is interning with an international communications and public relations firm. “My only concern would be if we lose power, how long it would be for.”

Some students see the storm as an opportunity.

“For most of us, it’s like a snow day really,” said Madison, Conn., senior David Li, who is interning with the Wild Child Post, a post-production company.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, declared a state of emergency New York City, which is where the Baylor Communication in New York programs are stationed. Many of the students intern in the city during the day, then take part in class instruction in the evening.

The program’s resident adviser, Luann Jennings, and Kickasola, who is regularly monitoring advisories from the Mayor’s office, maintain contact with the students and monitor their needs.

The State of New York is also considering a full travel ban which would include shutting down highways and public transportation.

The ban had not taken effect at the time of printing late Monday evening, but was scheduled to begin at 11 p.m.

This travel ban will prevent students from commuting to their internships in Manhattan. However, some students will be able to attend class.

“Unfortunately, the storm will not affect my ability to get to class, because we meet in one of the apartments in our building,” Carr said.

The storm could bring temperatures as low as 21 degrees. Fortunately, the students prepared for the cold weather that is headed their way beforehand.

“We have lots of blankets to pile on if it gets really cold and plenty of heavy material clothing,” Carr said.

Should the storm prevent the students from traveling outside of their residences, the program keeps food, bottled water and large stand-alone batteries for charging phones and other electronics.

If the power goes out, there are also hand-cranked power lanterns as well as a hearty supply of candles.

“We are confident we are prepared,” Kickasola said. “We will make judgements on a day to day issues as we go and will not jeopardize any student’s safety.”