Substitute tree-cher is a hit in Smith

PSU reacts to the blanket of snow that's descended upon Portland

Jamon Sin/PSU Vanguard

Almost a foot of snow blanketed the City of Portland starting last Tuesday, Jan. 10. The snowstorm, unusual by Pacific Northwest standards, resulted in two full days of Portland State campus closure and a 10 a.m. delayed start on Jan. 13.

Jon Raby/PSU Vanguard

As a result of the atypical snow, a tree in the PSU Park Blocks smashed into the west side of Smith Memorial Student Union just before midnight on Jan. 10. The tree, which has since been removed, knocked out several windows in the building. The damage resulted in the closing of several SMSU spaces, including the Quiet Study Lounge and the Browsing Lounge in SMSU 238. Both of these spaces will be closed until further notice, according to an email sent by SMSU Operations Manager Mark Russell. The Viking Room SMSU 026 and the second floor lounge remain open for student use.

Remnants of the fallen tree remain in the park blocks, marked off by bright yellow caution tape. Russell mentioned in his email that funeral arrangements for the tree will be forthcoming.

Vanguard staff members asked students in the Park Blocks about their thoughts on the fallen tree and how they spent their unexpected snow days.

Jamon Sin/PSU Vanguard

“I truly enjoyed the days we had off. I liked that we didn’t have school; I don’t really like walking in snow.”
–Ivan Gagatko
English major, senior

“It’s really sad to see the trees fall. The campus is so beautiful. They symbolize a lot for [PSU]…Having the trees there shows how much time and effort the school has put in to keep them there.”
–Halle Wilkening
Integrative Healthcare major, age 20

Jamon Sin/PSU Vanguard

“I like [the snow]. I’m originally from Maine, so I’m used to all this if not more, so this does not bother me whatsoever. I ended up having to work, but…I found time to play in the snow. I went snowboarding near mount hood.”
–Page Murphy
Bio/Pre-med major, age 23

Editor’s note: While PSU students frolicked in the snow,
Vanguard staff members hunkered down drafting up as many Snowpocalypse puns as we could muster. Here are some of our favorites:
–Have an ice day
–If a tree falls in the Park Blocks and snow one’s around to hear it, does it still hit Smith?
–Hey tree, are you hitting on me? Love, Smith
–Smith and the Park Blocks trees living in a snow-dependent relationship
–At PSU, trees hug back
–All bark, snow bite
–Oh snow you didn’t!

Additional Reporting by Jon Raby