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When considering a snow day, don’t forget commuters

Mitch Andrews / Lantern photographer

For many college students, dangerous winter weather conditions pose difficulty in walking to class on time, trying not to slip and fall and keeping warm. For those who commute to campus, these are not the only worries; commuters must also drive in the dangerous conditions and leave early enough to be on time. Many universities, including Ohio State, often forget about the latter.

OSU’s Weather Policy Plan, available at hr.osu.edu, states that local weather conditions are considered when deciding whether to cancel classes.

Despite this, as a commuter, I cannot help but feel as if this is not implemented appropriately.

Because many students simply have to leave their dorms and walk to class, even the most harsh local conditions can seem bearable. But for the rest of us, even a simple 15-minute drive to campus can become a 45-minute struggle to reach class on time.

Last week, central Ohio witnessed its first blizzard; roadways, sidewalks and parking lots were very dangerous. OSU was swift and cleaned the roadways and sidewalks the night of the snowstorm. However, the Carmack parking lot on West Campus remained slippery for quite a few days. As a commuter, I was disappointed to see that this lot was not cleaned along with the rest of campus; it is in fact where many cars on campus can be found, and it was where many cars on campus slipped.

The university has called seven snow days in the last 30 years, the most recent occurring on Feb. 16, 2010. Having lived in the Midwest my whole life, I have witnessed the weather escalate to extremely treacherous conditions more than seven times. Yet OSU has not thought to cancel classes.

All I ask is that as central Ohio is likely to experience more severe winter weather conditions in the coming weeks, the university consider all students a little more when deciding whether to cancel classes. I understand that because OSU is one of the largest universities, canceling classes is not an easy task. However, even though walking conditions might be safe, driving conditions often are not. So here’s to hoping I won’t miss a chemistry quiz because of bad weather.

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