For several days, we heard buzz about a supposed snow-pocalypse that was forecast to hit Rochester on Wednesday, Feb. 2. Weather reports gave advance warnings about what sounded like the storm to end all storms. In the end, of course, it turned out to be quite the anti-climax — the snow was no worse than many other pseudo-blizzard days we’ve endured, classes were not cancelled and things carried on as normal, as they do on a snowy, frigid Rochester day. But one detail related to the snowstorm-that-never-was still deserves some further discussion: the special Weekly Buzz e-mail that was sent to the UR community the night before the expected storm.
The e-mail, which quickly became a popular joke amongst students, advised some precautions for “Winter Storm Preparation.” These warnings included: “Consider bringing a snow shovel,” “take smaller steps” and “use handrails when available.” It also warned to “anticipate extended travel times during peak drive hours,” and that “parking shuttles and buses may be delayed.”
So, for anyone hoping for a much-anticipated snow day, this e-mail was obviously a big source of disappointment. But the e-mail also ironically felt like a strange, almost self-satirical disregard for the problems student could face during a massive snowstorm.
For Riverview Apartments and Southside Living Center residents, the fact that shuttles and buses “may be delayed” could result in almost missing the entirety of the class. For off-campus students, who don’t have the advantage of having their living area plowed overnight, getting to class on time during a snowstorm is a struggle. To suggest that those students should bring a shovel and take small steps feels disingenuous.
Of course, in the end, it turned out that all the brouhaha wasn’t really called for. But come on, this is Rochester — intensely terrible weather isn’t exactly out of the question any day. It’s strange to think that the University expects its students to simply not let adverse weather disrupt their daily schedules. Better consider getting some shovels, everyone.