On Wednesday, while Halifax suffered through yet another winter storm, students at the University of King’s College discovered an unexpected way to make money.
Students were paid by the university in exchange for clearing snow from the main walkways and all emergency exits on the King’s campus.
The university was closed on Wednesday and Thursday, after Halifax received between 50-80 cm of snow.
Alex Doyle, the director of facilities at King’s, said it was a unique situation. All of the usual support staff were busy digging themselves out of their own homes and could not make it into work.
Doyle reached out to students through the dons in Alexandra Hall. There was also a notice posted to the“University of King’s College Class of 2018” Facebook page.
The notice called for students to help deal with the fact that “our campus has essentially been buried by what can only be explained as hell actually freezing over.”
Danielle McCreadie, one of the students who took advantage of the offer, said shovelling “was awesome.”
She said all the students who shovelled went down to the security office underneath Middle Bay beforehand to log their time and sign out shovels.
“I was shovelling with four other friends but there were about 12 to 15 of us out there,” said McCreadie.
She only shovelled for a few hours, but other students continued working throughout the day.
Doyle said that a few years ago, hiring students to shovel used to be a standard practice of the university. He wants to revisit the idea next year and says he has recently been talking to the dean of residence about setting up an official list of students who would want work clearing snow.
“It’s a good idea. It gets students out of residence to make a little money and clear some pathways,” said Doyle.
McCreadie said she would definitely do it again, if the offer came up.
The students were offered minimum wage, which is around $10 an hour.