When winter storms hit campus, like the one last week that buried the Lynchburg, Va., area in more than 10 inches of snow, Liberty University calls upon its essential personnel across several departments to ensure basic services are delivered to the campus community.
These individuals are well prepared to maintain vital university operations and are great examples as they carry out their tasks with smiles and willing attitudes. They display a high level of commitment, many braving the weather conditions and some even staying in nearby hotels, so they can make sure students’ basic needs are met.
Essential personnel are individuals from the Liberty University Police Department, Dining Services, Information Technology Services, Field Operations, and the Equestrian Center. After the recent storm, Liberty’s Postal Services opened on Friday and Saturday to process and distribute packages and mail for Valentine’s Day.
“Our main priority is to provide a safe campus during inclement weather for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It is truly a team effort,” said Scott Starnes, vice president for Field Operations.
On Thursday and Friday, Grounds crews worked tirelessly to plow and salt roads and sidewalks while Building Maintenance staff took care of other concerns.
LUPD continued to maintain safety and security of the Liberty community 24/7 last week. Staff were present to respond to calls for assistance anywhere on campus. Officers helped with accidents and medical needs and assisted stranded motorists. They also worked closely with grounds crews to monitor road and sidewalk conditions.
“I am very proud of the way officers responded quickly and efficiently to calls and maintained patrols of Liberty University properties to ensure safety,” said LUPD Chief Richard Hinkley.
Sodexo, Liberty’s dining services provider, not only maintained its normal operations, but extended hours to accommodate increased demand due to students being snowed in.
“Our Sodexo team showed Liberty’s staff and students what true partnership is all about and for going the extra mile,” said Louis Cambeletta, director of Food Service Operations. “The managers worked tirelessly pulling their teams together to make sure they had enough staff and enough food to open up the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall as well as the Annex for our students.”
Cheryl Wolff, Sodexo general manager, added that she appreciates her team’s understanding of their responsibility to provide nourishment to the students.
“Their families have entrusted Liberty University with their precious ones and I am very proud of our team for (its) extraordinary service and commitment to Liberty and to the students.”
The administration recognizes that operating a campus of Liberty’s size is essentially like operating a small city, which only functions well during times of need due to selfless individuals who demonstrate servant leadership on a daily basis.