I wasn’t going to write this. Honestly. But then it snowed. Again.And UR didn’t cancel classes. Again.
And I found myself trekking to class through piles of snow. Again.
No, I don’t have a problem with the fact that UR almost never cancels classes. I’m paying lots of money to come here and I fully expect that I should be able to go to class whenever I want to. However, I have a problem with the fact that UR expects me to risk breaking a leg to get to class.
As you’ve probably noticed, there’s been a failure on the part of UR Facilities this winter to keep the walkways clear of snow and safe for students to use. At times, some of the most used walkways — such as the one from Susan B. Anthony down to Wilson Commons — had snow covering them for at least two days before it was shoveled.
Part of UR’s job is to make sure that we, the students — and the faculty and staff — are safe. This includes supplying safe water and also making sure that we can get from our rooms to our dining halls to our classes easily. At a school like UR, where we’ve gotten over 120 inches of snow so far this year, shoveling the walkways is critical to our safety. To not do so is not an option.
Unshoveled walkways also reflect poorly on the school. Many prospective high school juniors visit the campus during the winter and it is important for UR to be at its best. Imagine a prospective student who comes here after a huge snow storm and finds herself trekking through snow-covered walkways while on a campus tour. Wouldn’t you wonder why a university that was established in 1850 still couldn’t deal with all the snow? What about the fact that the administration expects students to walk through this much snow on their way to classes?
True, we do have a tunnel system which allows us to get from one class to another without freezing. Provided, of course, that you don’t have a class in Hutchinson, Gavett or any of the other 10 or so academic buildings that aren’t connected to the tunnels. Provided also that you’ve set up camp in the ITS Center and plan on living there for the rest of your college days.
The bottom line is simple. Yes, there’s been more snowfall this year than there was last year, but this is no excuse for students having to trek through so much snow this winter. It’s time facilities figured out a way to shovel the snow in a timely manner. Unless, of course, they’re planning on constructing an elaborate tunnel system that extends to all the buildings on campus. In which case I’d say, “What are you waiting for?”
Jansen can be reached at email@example.com