Storms bury students in pile of work
Snow forced cancellation of classes two days last week and with winter not over yet, wreaking havoc on many course schedules.
Professors consider the snow days an inconvenience and are concerned about how the rest of the semester will be affected.
“Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to control the weather yet,” professor Thomas Rondinella said. “I am working on it though.”
Some professors, such as Edgar Valdez, a post-doctoral teaching fellow and philosophy professor lost about two weeks of classes.
“One of the days when the University had a delayed opening I was unable to make it to campus, and so I have one section that has lost two weeks of class and two sections that have lost a week and a half of class,” Valdez said. “Because this loss has been at the beginning of the semester it has really compromised my classes’ ability to establish a rhythm for class discussion.”
Kyle Heim, an associate professor of communication, is also concerned with the rhythm of the classroom, but said he believes that cancellations are necessary because “no class is so important that it’s worth putting students in danger.”
Other professors said that the cancellations did not make a huge impact on class schedules.
The operations coordinator for the department of freshman studies, Maggie Hernandez, said she is flexible with the syllabus for her University Life classes.
“I don’t think it’s a huge problem,” she said. “I try to go with the flow of the schedule and give the students the information that they need.”
Some professors also are concerned about the students’ safety in the daily commute to school.
“I only live a mile away from campus and some days, the commute would be frightening,” said Rondinella, a professor of communication and program coordinator of the broadcasting, visual, and interactive media major. “I can’t imagine it being safe for anyone coming from a distance.”
The administration was praised by for making the decision to cancel classes.
According to Heim, his concern lies with the students and faculty themselves.
“I think the administration has done a good job of making the tough calls on whether or not to close, and has done a good job of keeping students and faculty informed,” he said. “It’s really up to the faculty and students to take care of the rest.”
Valdez said he believes that the decision-making process must be difficult.
“Many schools leave some extra days at the end of a semester to accommodate cancellations, but without those days I don’t see what options (administrators) would have,” he said. “I do not envy the administrators charged with those kinds of decisions.”
He added: “Okay Winter, you win!”
Kevin Scimecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.