This semester alone Missouri Western State University has had three early closings; one late start and three full days canceled. It seems that with each Griffon Alert students rejoice and faculty cringe.
Whether the extra time is used to catch up on homework or Netflix, students tend to respond to the snow days positively. The obvious reason for the celebration is that they’re not required to leave their room and sit through lectures. Yet, the side benefit of being required to do less homework is dwindling.
With classes being skipped, keeping up with the syllabus’ schedule has been tricky for students and faculty. The cancellations have been causing stress to professors who are charged with teaching and evaluating the students. After all, they put a lot of pre-planned work into it. Some professors have been resourceful by using email and Canvas to send students readings, Panoptos and assignments. Nonetheless, some students are feeling frustrated with their teacher’s expectations of them after so little class time. For example, some of the nursing students had to take their first test as scheduled, even though they had to learn most of the materials on their own. No matter how enjoyable a snow day seems–people are starting to feel the ramifications of lost work time.
With that being said, it is necessary to take off when the weather conditions are not reasonably conducive to students arriving to class safely. We should be thankful that we have a university that cares enough about its students and faculty to cancel when it is most responsible to do so. Further, other schools in the area, such as Northwest, have been canceling as well, which gives even more backing to Western’s decisions. On top of that, accidents are already happening. On Feb. 11, before classes were canceled, there were emergency vehicles outside of Scanlon Hall reportedly because of a student slipping. One of the athletes injured themselves when trying to go to training on one of the canceled days.We should remember that many students are commuters. It is important for all students to be factored in when thinking about road conditions, and it seems like that is what Western is doing.
It is clear that the snow days are causing some logistical issues, but Western should ultimately be commended for putting the safety of their students first, even under the need for productivity.