Salt the sidewalks, or lawsuit

GIllian Feehan, Writer

Every winter when a big snowstorm comes around, students think the same thing: please let us have a day off. Unfortunately for us, it’s a rare occasion when the University decides to cancel a day of classes and usually requires some huge, bizarre storm. Five inches of snow and some ice isn’t going to convince President John Bravman to shut this campus down for a day. Is the University too strict regarding snow days?

Personally, I tend to side with the University and think we should go to class in the snow. This campus is small, and it doesn’t take long to get anywhere, so it shouldn’t be hard to walk to class in just a few inches of snow. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a day off where I can sleep in and relax, but classes can’t be cancelled every time it snows. Plus, many of us would be receiving emails from our professors about what work we should do on our day off so the class doesn’t fall behind. To me, that sounds even worse than sitting through a lecture.

Many students think that it’s dangerous for professors to come to campus in the snow, but professors can cancel their own classes if the weather is too bad. Some professors may live far away from campus, and driving in icy conditions is obviously dangerous. The University won’t shut down, but individual professors can decide whether it’s safe enough for them to get to class.

While I don’t think the University needs to close every time we get a few inches of snow, I think it seriously needs to improve the way it handles snow. The roads are usually plowed and safe enough to drive on, but the walkways here are a disaster. During the snowstorm last week, the walkways were completely coated in ice. Walking on the quad was fine, but as soon as you stepped near Academic West, it was like walking on an ice skating rink. It’s not safe to send students to class when the walkways are sheets of ice.

Students need to accept that we attend a school that almost never cancels class. I think that the University’s snow policy is fair, but more needs to be done to make this campus safe in the snow. If classes aren’t cancelled in the snow, I think it’s reasonable for students to expect to be able to walk to class without almost wiping out. Being able to walk around campus in the snow without slipping would at least make students a little less unhappy about never having a day off.

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