GGC students ride out storm on campus

LAWRENCEVILLE — When last week’s storm dumped more than four inches of snow on Lawrenceville and created hazardous driving conditions, Georgia Gwinnett College canceled classes — but the campus wasn’t completely shut down.

Residential students were participating in organized snowball fights and eating midnight meals in the dining hall, said Jim Fatzinger, the associate vice president of student affairs.

“We have 542 students who rode out the winter storm of 2011 in our residence halls,” Fatzinger said.

It was the first major weather event since the college opened its dorms in August.

“We got in front of it early,” Fatzinger said. “It was textbook for the college.”

The college deiced the sidewalk in between the residence halls and student center, so the students could safely walk to the dining hall and multipurpose game room. Special activities, like the snowball fight and a card tournament, were planned.

Fatzinger said the facilities team and public safety officers were integral in keeping the students safe for the week.

The campus’ weather alert system kept all students informed daily of canceled classes and other news, Fatzinger said.

“In under a minute, we can notify the entire student body,” he said.

Since routine operations were interrupted at the start of a semester, college officials have extended deadlines for registration and payments. Additionally, some offices will be open additional hours.

The library will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. today, but it will be closed Monday for the federal holiday. Student Accounts and Financial Aid offices will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The add/drop registration period has been extended to 5 p.m. Thursday.

Final payment in full for outstanding student balances has been extended to 5 p.m. Jan. 24 for students who registered or made schedule changes on or after Jan. 5. If full payment is not made by this time, students’ academic schedules and enrollment will be revoked for the spring semester.