Staying warm from UGGs to Holy Grounds

Lauren Piro

Even though the spring semester is officially in full swing, the thoughts of blooming flowers and warm breezes that usually characterize the season could not be farther from Villanova students’ minds. Instead, winter has finally decided to live up to its name, threatening the community with icy concrete, frostbitten fingertips and the temptation of simply staying in a warm bed all day. As students of the Northeast, many Villanovans know how to prepare for the inevitability of the frigid temperatures. Honing students for keeping warm has become second nature to those who must venture outside or endure a chilly classroom. The most obvious way to combat the cold is, of course, to simply bundle up. A glance around campus shows clearly that layers are key when trying to retain body temperature.”I always thought that keeping a hooded sweatshirt under a jacket was very helpful because you can put it up,” sophomore Brian Maher says.Eliza Pierson, also a sophomore, agrees with Maher, noting the im- portance of jackets and sweatshirts and a good pair of gloves. A walk outside proves that Villanova students know the im-portance of covering every inch of skin. In addition to hoodies pulled up to protect delicate ears and hands stuffed into gloves stuffed into pockets, a rainbow of hats and scarves also brightens the bleak winter backdrop. There’s no need to sacrifice style for function; they not only keep one warm but also showcase one’s personality or complete the perfect winter ensemble. In the same light, it is not uncommon to see the familiar North Face logo creep up on the shoulders of the warmest coats, as well as Villanova sweatpants tucked into that famous layer of fleece and suede – the ever-fashionable UGG boot. “I bundle up,” sophomore Christine Buonpane says. “Hats, gloves, scarves – and UGG boots keep your feet warm. I also drink a lot of tea from Holy Grounds.”As Buonpane suggests, clothes aren’t the only way students and the University work to make the cold bearable. As the temperature drops, Holy Grounds locations across campus shift from pouring iced coffees to making some of their warmer beverages, like lattes, teas and hot chocolates. “The Peet’s Freddo drinks are very popular during the spring, summer and fall, but when winter cold sets in, the hot latte business really takes off,” says Bill Davis, associate director of Connelly Food Operations. Employees at Holy Grounds know students like to use the hot drinks to warm not only their hands but their whole bodies as they sip the steaming cups while walking in the cold. Other students find even more resourceful ways to stay toasty.”The key is to go through as many buildings as possible to get where you’re going,” junior Katrine Herrick says. It certainly isn’t uncommon to see students walking the length of Mendel Hall as a warm shortcut to a different location. However, to make movement across campus even more comfortable, students know to take advantage of the campus-wide shuttle system. Run by Public Safety, the department has gone to great lengths to ensure that all people who have WildCards can get where they need to be easily and warmly.”We do notice when it’s snowing or raining that more students use [the shuttle system],” says Carolyn Arena, parking and transportation manager. The system utilizes 22-passenger shuttles with standing room, which, while efficient, definitely get more crowded in the colder months. While it’s rare that anyone needs to be left behind, Arena notes that drivers are very good about calling for a mobility unit to pick up anyone who still needs a ride. Director of Public Safety Jeffery Horton also stresses consideration for all those living at Villanova during the winter months. He encourages to take advantage of the campus escort service, which is equipped to transport people late at night when the shuttle isn’t running. “I don’t want anyone walking in the dark at 3:30 in the morning when it’s this cold,” Horton says. Still more students say that keeping warm is all about having the right mindset. While some may imagine that they are already on a tropical spring break to mentally block out the cold, others try to remind themselves how lucky they actually are to have the amenities to deal with it.”I think about homeless people,” Herrick says. “I’m complaining about a 10-minute walk, but they have to live outside.” The frigid seasonal weather clearly has to work a little harder to bother the prepared Villanovan. Bearing the cold isn’t so bad while riding the shuttle and drinking a hot coffee while cozy in your favorite sweatshirt. Punxatawney Phil has promised us an early spring, but just in case he’s wrong, students are confident they can survive any cold weather blown their way.