Editorial: Sandy blows away secrecy veil

After failing to provide students with timely information about a shooting that occurred within sight of the Pitt-Johnstown campus, University President Jem Spectar and other administrators promised to better notify students.

As adverse weather, including high wind and heavy rain, made its way toward campus, Monday, administrators held true to their promise.

They issued an email explaining the prospective storm danger and said that the campus would be closing at 3 p.m. and would remain closed through Tuesday.

Administrators said they based this decision on information offered by the Cambria County Department of Emergency Services and the Pitt-Johnstown Critical Response Team.

Though it was gratifying to see Pitt-Johnstown administrators be accountable after their information failure following the shooting, it seems they may have gotten ahead of themselves.

The storm provided nothing more than what seemed like a moderate to heavy amount of rainfall coupled with gusty winds.

Though its effects appeared near catastrophic in other parts of the country, the Johnstown region experienced only minor flooding and damage, and the university was virtually unscathed.

In a follow up email, university administrators explained that classes would resume Wednesday, as scheduled, and the campus and students remained safe.

However, the Pitt-Johnstown campus was not the only institution to experience closures as a result of the storm.

In some cases these premature closures could be seen as foolish and unnecessary, but, in this case, the storm’s unpredictability and previous destruction created a situation that merited action.

If the Johnstown region had experienced the widespread destruction some other areas had, both commuters and campus residents may have been in danger.

This seems like one case in which the cliché, “better safe than sorry,”  holds true.

Pitt-Johnstown administrators handled the situation well and may have slightly redeemed their previous misstep.

We hope they continue to keep the community informed as we transition into the winter months, historically filled with dangerous and unfavorable weather conditions.