There is always something a little magical about snow days. They are a serendipitous holiday — a fortuitous chance to enjoy the idyllic side of the winter season before the snow turns to grimy slush and ice — and for those of us who grew up in the northeast, evoke a certain nostalgia for grade school. Nonetheless, while many of us rejoiced at having our classes cancelled last week because of the snow, it is important to remember that not everyone got off so easy.
For the rest us, the inclement weather made an unwelcome trek to class even more miserable. By the evening before, the weather forecasts were already predicting heavy snowfall with one hundred percent certainty. Trying to predict the administrative response to the weather, however, was still a risky gamble. It seems to be the College’s policy to wait until the absolute last minute to notify students and employees of its official response to heavy snowfall. While this may deter students from taking advantage of a day off when the College does choose to close down, the uncertainty it creates is unnecessary, inconvenient and frustrating.
There is nothing worse than going to bed expecting a snow day, only to wake up in the morning to receive an email half an hour before a scheduled class informing you that the professor will not be canceling it, or perhaps if you went to bed feeling pessimistic and expecting the campus to remain open, and showed up to a morning shift at a campus job, only to realize that the campus had been closed. If the administration would be so kind as to publicize the verdict the night before, then the collective well-being of the Amherst community would be much improved.
While those of us who had to show up to class found it a pain to trudge through the snow, things could have been much worse if not for the unwavering work of the College’s ground crew. Amherst has received incessant snowfall for the past month, and the students owe a great deal of gratitude to the ground crew for their diligence and their invaluable contribution to the day-to-day functions of the college year-round — and especially this winter season.