It’s cold out there. So cold that last night, I got this weather alert:
The Stevens County Sheriff is advising NO TRAVEL in Stevens County. It is unsafe to travel and roadways are blown closed with hard packed snow. The County plows will not go out until the wind goes down. Again, NO TRAVEL ADVISED IN STEVENS COUNTY until conditions improve.
That’s right, it was so cold and blizzardy that the snow plows weren’t running. So we waited to hear what the university was going to do. And we waited. And waited. UMM’s official policy is to send out notices about any class cancellations due to weather by 5am on the day of the affected classes, so of course we get notice at…5am this morning. The university is opening 2 hours late, so morning classes are cancelled (which doesn’t affect me or my students at all).
I can understand the dilemma. University schedules are tight; unlike the public schools, which can simply add extra days to the end of the school year to make up snow days, any lost classes are just that, lost. Students are paying good money for those classes, and our curricula are often fairly tight, so losing a day without a makeup can mean some critical subject isn’t as well covered in lecture.
On the other hand, dying or getting injured on hazardous roads blows an even bigger hole in the learning experience.
I think university administrators are quite aware of the conundrum. You’d think students would be aware, too — they’re paying $12,000/year for these classes, you’d think they’d express some resistance or at least hesitation about wanting classes shut down.
Not at the University of Illinois. Some students really, really wanted a snow day. What do they think this is, sixth grade? They got so irate about the fact that the chancellor did not cancel classes today, that they took to Twitter to complain bitterly about having to go to school…and very quickly the complaints descended into sexist and racist remarks about the chancellor, who is a woman of Asian descent.
Don’t do that, children.
College students are adults. You weigh the consequences. UMM is largely a residential school, so it’s not a big deal when we have to stay open during bad weather…but some students do commute, and are going to have a more difficult time. I say, think about your personal circumstances and do what you have to do; you can’t make it to class without putting yourself in peril, then don’t. I have students who’ve written to say that they can’t make it, and that’s all right, I understand and won’t penalize them. I’ll help them go over the material if they stop by my office later.
That’s how adults handle these little setbacks.
But if you’re pissed off because the university tells you that you don’t get a day off from school, a day you’ve already paid for, so pissed off that you start ranting like this:
Asians and women aren’t responsible for their actions #FuckPhyllis
It’s going to be -27 without wind chill tomorrow morning and I have class at 8 #FuckPhyllis #Cunt #Bitch #Whore
phyllis can go shove tomorrow’s weather up her wideset vagina. #fuckphyllis
In a room with Phyllis Wise, Adolf Hitler, and a gun with one bullet. Who do I shoot? #fuckphyllis
You know, I don’t think the university would be out of line to add an additional requirement that you take a course in Remedial Humanity before they allow you to graduate.