EDITORIAL: U. lack of snow days may not be so unreasonable
Rutgers students will get to experience a little preemptive taste of spring break today as a result of the snow storm. To many students this may come as somewhat of a surprise, as this snow day is a rare occasion — something the University takes a lot of backlash for. The closing of all offices and cancellation of classes is in accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-N.J.) of a state of emergency, which is interesting because it seems it takes an extremely high standard of danger and inclement weather, such as the one we are presented with, for the administration to make the decision to close.
Back in we saw New Jersey get slammed in the first blizzard of 2018, but Rutgers remained open — that said, when your institution employs approximately faculty and staff, it is reasonable to question whether closing is worth it. Even during snow storms students need to eat, travel and study, and many depend on the University’s facilities to do those things. So when you have so many students living on campus, it makes the decision a tough one. It might be assumed, though, that a lot of students do not mind the closing.
Considering the fact that this is a prominent week for midterms, even the students who are the least diligent about attending class are likely to show up. For those that live at Rutgers it is not much of an issue, but the commuters have it the worst. Driving to school for a midterm in a snowstorm can literally be the decision between life and death. And even for those that live on campus, to make bus drivers shuttle students from campus to campus in a blizzard can put a significant number of lives at risk. Professors are often reasonable people and most would likely understand an absence during a major snowstorm, but even then a student who misses a class is at risk of falling behind.
In the end, it is definitely a wise decision for the University to close its doors for the day. The question of whether this should happen more often, though, is a difficult one to answer. But when one looks at the implications of shutting down such a major institution, maybe the University staying open so often is not as irrational as it seems on the face.
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