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How much does a snow day actually cost?

[caption id="attachment_13443" align="alignnone" width="300"]Victoria Hess/Staff Photographer Victoria Hess/Staff Photographer[/caption] On one single snow day, a student may lose more than $100 per class canceled due to weather. On Feb. 15, Seton Hall closed at 4 p.m. due to “inclement weather,” as an issued Pirate Alert stated. Campus remained closed until Feb. 16 at 10 a.m., causing students to lose money over missed classes. Tuition for undergraduates is $17,970 a semester, which covers 12 to 18 academic credits, according to the SHU website. If a student takes the maximum of 18 credits, then each credit costs $998.33. This would mean that each class missed over a 15 week semester would be a loss of $199.66 if the class meets once a week. If the class meets twice a week and a student misses one class then that would be a loss of $99.83. This loss increases depending on how many classes a student has canceled on one day because of a snow day. Student money lost due to canceled classes because of winter weather increases for graduate students. For all graduate majors, except diplomacy, each credit costs $1,135. Each diplomacy credit costs $1,222, according to the SHU website. If a student takes one class at three credits, then one graduate course costs $3,405. Over a 15 week semester that makes each class that meets once a week cost $227 per class. If a class meets twice a week then the student is losing $113.50 for each canceled class. Celie Valcine, a sophomore nursing major, said that the University canceling classes is, “unfair because teachers don’t change test dates,” even though they, “don’t get to cover everything,” including all the class material missed, she said. Student tuition dollars are not the only loss faced on snow days. Michael Garcia, director of Business Affairs, said in an email interview that the amount of personnel required to keep the cafeteria open on snow days depends on how many employees are available on that day. The severity of a snow emergency dictates the number of people who are able to get to campus. Gourmet Dining Services need approximately 20 people to maintain service at all of the ven ues on campus, Garcia said. On snow days, students do not swipe cards to get into the Caf because Gourmet Dining keeps the venue open throughout the day during their scheduled hours for students to eat. Sioux Patashnik, an English professor, said in an email interview that she builds into the syllabus one or two unexpected snow days. Patashnik said that when she creates the syllabus, she looks for where she can lose a day without too many repercussions to her students. She added that in the past she has moved the class discussions that were to be held on the snow days to a different day in the following week. “I was never one who felt she had to “squeeze in” material,” Patashnik said. Robert Mayhew, a philosophy professor, said that he takes unplanned snow days into account during the semester. Mayhew said in an email interview that he holds a review session in class before every exam in most of his classes, so that if there is a snow day, he will get that class back by moving the final review session from the last day of classes to the official reading day. This review session is optional. In addition, in some of the courses that Mayhew instructs, the final exam takes place on the last day of class and the final exam period is used to go over graded exams. Mayhew said that there is a note in his syllabus that says if there is a snow day cancellation during the semester, the exam be will shifted to the scheduled final exam period. During the spring 2015 semester some professors had to cut course material due to the weather. Patashnik said she found this “very frustrating.” Samantha Todd can be reached at


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