The Wayne Stater

Snow keeps students on their toes for snow days

Alexander Retzlaff, Reporter

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Students checked their emails. Administration sent out emails ordering cars to be removed from campus streets for snow removal. Yet, students at Wayne State College still had to show up for classes on Wednesday, Feb. 20 despite the cold weather.

Despite getting around six inches of snow the night before, classes last Wednesday continued their normal schedules, with exceptions being made for commuter students and faculty. Schools all across northeast Nebraska, including University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Omaha and even Wayne High School closed for the day due to the weather, only adding to the confusion among WSC students.

However, some students, like freshman Austin Slama, felt they had gotten lucky. Slama’s professor, a commuter from Omaha, cancelled class due to the weather.

“With all of the snow that happened, I feel like probably more [classes] should’ve been cancelled, you know,” Slama said. “I didn’t really mind that one class didn’t get cancelled because it was actually a fun class, like, the teacher makes it pretty fun. If it was a boring class, I’d be like, ‘Oh, why couldn’t that one have gotten cancelled?’”

Faculty members like Professor Mollie Spieker also went along with the decision, but also regarded commuting faculty members who had to cancel their classes.

“I always expect to teach, so I was not surprised when I found out [classes] were still in session,” Spieker said. “It’s true that many professors live off campus, and so that makes it difficult for them to get there, there are students that live off campus, too. As somebody who lives on the other side of town, I just expect that I’m going to have to leave earlier, and make a plan if I get stuck or something like that.”

Other students, however, did not share Slama’s opinion. Social media, particularly Twitter, blasted the college’s decision to stay open. Justin Mohrmann, a sophomore, held high hopes for the campus to close for the day. In regards to the other schools that had closed for the day, Mohrmann believed those other schools had made a smart decision.

“I was really upset,” Mohrmann said. “I was kind of looking forward to a snow day, and I heard that Omaha and Lincoln colleges had cancelled, and a bunch of high schools had cancelled. So, I definitely expected a snow day, and when I woke up, and we didn’t hear anything about classes being cancelled, I was pretty upset.”

In regards to the reason behind the college’s decision to remain open, Jay Collier, the director of college relations, placed emphasis on snow removal as one of the most important factors. According to Collier, weather also plays a significant role, since the college does not treat all storms equally. Collier also considered other schools’ decisions irrelevant to WSC’s choice to resume classes.

“Some storms have the potential to be much more dangerous than other storms,” Collier said. “We looked at this storm the same way we do every storm. A group of people communicate the morning of, so Wednesday morning, they came to campus. The facilities director looked at the snow, talked to his crews, they said, ‘Yep, we can get this snow removed,’ and so we decided to stay open.”

Collier also took commuter students and faculty into account, and wanted to share some advice to keep commuters safe.

“If you have concerns, if you don’t feel safe, reach out to your professor, let someone know,” Collier said. “I always say, first of all, use your best judgment about traveling, and second of all, reach out to your professor. And if you do this at the start of the semester, introduce yourself, talk through expectations, then when we have a storm, there’s no question in your mind.”

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