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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Students Observe Total Solar Eclipse

Instagram / @colgateuniversity

The total solar eclipse occurred on Monday, April 8, with Hamilton, N.Y., near the path of totality. Faculty and students alike were excited to view the eclipse, and many professors canceled their classes to allow students the opportunity to see it. Some students viewed the eclipse on campus, while others left campus to travel to various locations closer to or in the path of totality. Students had the opportunity to sign up for a total solar eclipse field trip sponsored by the Ho Tung Visualization Laboratory and physics and astronomy departments, which provided buses to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y.

Prior to the eclipse, Associate Vice President for Emergency Management, Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety Joseph Hernon sent an email on Thursday, April 4, reminding students of safety precautions. The email advised the community to protect their eyes, plan their viewing location and travel safely with the increased traffic. 

Share safety information with your friends, family and colleagues, emphasizing the importance of proper eye protection and safe viewing practices,” Hernon wrote. “Let’s fully embrace this remarkable celestial spectacle while safeguarding the well-being of everyone involved.”

Assistant Professor of Psychology Lauren Philbrook canceled her class during the eclipse and explained her reasoning.

“I felt like it was a really unique opportunity that none of us are going to have again for a long time, to be able to experience something so special,” Philbrook said. “I didn’t want students to have to do the calculus on their own to decide whether or not to come to class, and they could use that time for their own well-being or self-care, as well.”

Like many others, senior Ryan Lee went to Geneva, N.Y., to view the eclipse with a group of friends. However, some locations were overcast during the peak of the event.

“I went out to Geneva, but it was extremely cloudy. We weren’t able to actually see the sun or the totality, but it was still really dramatic and impressive to be able to see this wave of darkness cover the world,” Lee said.

Back on campus, the conditions were less overcast. Senior Gigi Venizelos saw the eclipse at Colgate and was excited by the sense of community it cultivated.

“Seeing the eclipse at Colgate was a wholesome experience,” Venizelos said. “I sat with some friends behind Burke and Pinchin [Halls], surrounded by students playing music or throwing frisbees as we waited for the peak. It was great seeing the community come together for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

To add to the rarity of the event, the eclipse occurred after a 4.8-magnitude earthquake that struck New Jersey at 10:23 a.m. on Friday, April 5. Some students reported feeling the impact on campus and in the Village of Hamilton. 

Junior Lauren Sterne described how she experienced the earthquake. 

“I was in my bed and, all of a sudden, it felt like a big truck going by,” Sterne said. “As a person from California, I have had this exact feeling before, and I thought to myself, ‘This feels like an earthquake, but that would be impossible because I’m in Upstate New York.’”

There was no communication from the University following the earthquake.

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About the Contributor
Ellie Weber
Ellie Weber, News Editor
Ellie Weber is a junior from New York, NY concentrating in political science. She has previously served as a staff writer for the News section. On campus, Ellie is involved in the Comedy Sketch Club.

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    CarolineMichaudLover13Apr 12, 2024 at 10:18 am

    Splendid article