University closes with short notice, some commuters say
University President Robert L. Barchi declared a weather emergency for Rutgers due to adverse weather conditions on Monday, Dec. 2, according to a University-wide alert.
Heavy winter weather is not unusual to the area, according to David. A. Robinson, a distinguished professor in the Department of Geography.
"Ten inches of snow in early December would be rather unusual even in northwestern New Jersey but not unprecedented,” Robinson said, according to a University press release. “We had 5 inches in New Brunswick on Nov. 15, 2018, so something of that magnitude in central (New Jersey) wouldn’t be tremendously unusual.”
As of 11 a.m., the New Jersey State Police reported approximately 275 accidents as well as approximately 200 spin-outs across the state, according to an article on NJ Advance Media.
The University canceled classes after 3 p.m., which still required commuters to travel to campus prior to the closing.
Lavanya Attavane, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, said that while the campus closing allowed commuters to leave before the roads became more dangerous, she wished they were aware of the closing sooner.
“It’s unreasonable of Rutgers to keep its decisions so last minute ... some kids had to drive through the bad weather to make it to campus just to find out the school would be closed,” Attavane said.
Menaka Chawan, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said that the school tends to close when they think the worst of the weather will be, making it difficult for commuters. The closings tend to be in the middle of the day, which still requires commuters to travel during heavy weather, she said.
Chawan said she had class before 3 p.m. and had to commute to campus regardless of the University closure.
“I was upset that I had to drive through the snow, take the LX (bus) and walk through the snow just for one class,” Chawan said. “If they had canceled classes for the whole day, it would have saved me and my fellow commuters unnecessary difficulties.”
Chawan said she also wished the University would take the amount of traffic and risk that comes with this weather into consideration more when it comes to commuters.
“If the school knows that it’s supposed to snow heavily in the area, it should close the school as a precautionary measure rather than wait for half the day and force students and faculty to deal with the snow,” Chawan said.
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