Open Letter to University of Nebraska at Omaha

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To the person who makes the decisions regarding whether to hold or cancel classes due to inclement weather:

GET A CLUE. While we do have some on-campus housing, the majority of us commute to school. The ridiculous parking situation is made worse when there are snow banks and invisible stall lines with which to contend. I could barely get my car out of my driveway. Traffic reports were filled with accidents. It would almost seem as if you want students to get hurt trying to make it to class. It is simply dangerous to be out on the road today.

The radio station I was originally using to get school closing information said UNO was initially reported as closed, then decided to switch to opening at 10:00 A.M. How many of my lab students do you think heard the initial report, rolled over, and went back to sleep?

Every public and private K-12 school in the region is closed today. Do you know how many of my lab students have children, and will have to miss my class to provide childcare today?

I understand that Creighton is opening at 10:00 A.M. I understand that UNL is opening this afternoon. Those schools have a very different demographic - more dorms, a high percentage of students living on campus, and a lower percentage of non-traditional students and students with children.

If you could please take these things into account when deciding whether or not to cancel classes? I think you'd be doing the student body a great service.


Erica Tesla

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I totally empathize with your train of thought on this subject, darling...Oh, do I! After working at that institution for almost 6 years and attending classes for a total of about 9 years...well, let's just say that I think I can count on one hand the number of times classes were cancelled and still have digits left over. It's sad really, but I think part of the reasoning is that, if the Chancellor can get to work, anyone should be able to attend classes (and she lives like 3 blocks from campus!). Horribly unsound logic, I know. Too bad you're teaching, or I'd suggest just ditching class yourself...I'd rather you'd be safely snuggled in your nice, new, warm house!

At UN-Lincoln we had something similar. As you said the original statement was that it would be open at 1. Then they changed that and said we were closed all day. There were still students trying to get to classes because they hadn't heard the news.

I agree that there are times when we should close and don't. The changing make-up of the student body means we have to change teh way we look at bad weather. How many students would have to stay home anyway because their kids don't have school? How many would have to deal with roads that aren't plowed yet?

Better yet - why not use more virtual ways of communicating the information on these days? Have the professor record a podcast or send an email to the students. The buisness of running the university can wait another day.

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This page contains a single entry by Erica published on March 21, 2006 8:08 AM.

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