Our View

By Herald Editorial Staff
On February 10, 2014

From droughts to freezing rain, Mother Nature has made herself known throughout the world in recent years.

The example at the forefront of A-State was the cancellation of school for two days last week due to heavy ice accumulation.

Even with the threat of inclement weather, A-State has not made known any guidlines for canceling, postponing or rescheduling school days around the weather.

The confusion caused from a lack of consistency only hurts the university in the long run.

The first problem was that it wasn’t announced until the late evening hours that school would be cancelled the following day.

On Tuesday night, many students expected the announcement of whether school would resume the next day, but were left in waiting until the early hours of the morning.

This meant that students who depend on others for transportation to campus had to wait before finalizing their plans.

Perhaps the biggest inconsistency was the message from the Provost on Wednesday morning, who told students to “use their best judgment” when determining whether it was safe enough for them to drive to campus.

While this hinted to staff to excuse students for weather related absences, no instructor was officially required to excuse them. In fact, instructors are only required to excuse an absence for an official school function or event.

Some students may have had to take unexcused absences because of the weather, potentially affecting their grade. The only other option was to risk their lives in order to keep up with class.

The closing of campus left many questions for students and faculty alike.

What will happen to the lost days? Will they have to be made up at the end of the year, like last semester’s snow days? Or did teachers just lose two days of valuable, already limited instruction time?
And what about the Provost’s words of caution? Should teachers have been expected to excuse students if they missed due to weather?
Should the teachers still teach their same lecture, knowing many students may not be able to make it? Should students really risk an unexcused absence from class, or brave the roads anyway?
In the same way we have plans for active shooters, fires and other types of emergencies, weather can have just as much of an affect on students.

Many schools and universities have specific guidelines regarding temperatures, precipitation amounts and road conditions when deciding whether to cancel school, and these guidelines are made known to the public.

They also have built in “snow days,” or days at the end of the year designated for making up for inclement weather during the earlier parts of the semester.

It is time for A-State to put a plan into place for inclement weather and make it known to students and faculty.

Nature is something nobody can control. But preparation for whatever nature may bring is the key to success for all.

“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of ASU.

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