Let’s say you work at a university. The student population is primarily commuter, and you live in an area of the country that apparently has some sort of selective amnesia about the fact that it snows every freaking winter, and thus there is not adequate snow removal and the people, they don’t know how to drive in the snow. Oh, and it’s hilly. And the roads are curvy. It’s awesome.
But so anyway, even more awesome than that is when the weather people predict a major storm for days. And when first thing in the morning, pretty much every school is closing, even though the storm hadn’t really started yet, anticipating the Massive Motherfucking Snowstorm that would hit during the day. But my institution, oh no, it does not believe in “predictions” about weather. Clearly these “meteorologists” are not scientists but rather some sort of voodoo astrologers or something. Instead, my institution likes to open up and then send everybody home from campus when the weather begins to deteriorate and the roads become dangerous. They also don’t like to let you know about the decision to close campus in the middle of the day with any reasonable amount of notice.
So. I took myself to campus to teach today, in spite of my better judgment, because I knew my students would likely have dragged themselves in, and I felt obligated to go. I mean, sure, I could have made the call to cancel because of weather myself, but what if a student of mine didn’t check his or her email or look at Blackboard? What if I decided to cancel too late and the students were already on their way in to campus? And also, what if not all their other classes are canceled, so my cancellation either encourages them to make the decision to miss all of their other classes, even though those classes are meeting? Or, conversely, what if they go in for their other classes which are meeting, and me canceling means they are wasting this huge chunk of time in their day? The university frowns upon faculty canceling class because of weather, but yet, it procrastinates about making the call.
This is not the first time this has happened.
This storm was not a surprise. We all watched it heading here for days. So here’s a tip, president of my university: call the motherfucking snow day before people get in their cars to commute to campus. Understand that not doing so puts every university worker and every student at risk. And it puts your faculty in a ridiculous position of either violating university policy to protect students or of following university policy and putting students at risk. It is, in a word, asinine.