Mistake made by staying open

Callie Burgan

We think some matters regarding severe weather hazards need to be brought to light after the polar vortex that hit campus Jan. 30.

We believe that President Jem Spectar should have made the decision to cancel all classes Jan. 30 instead of just offering students free coffee and hot cocoa.

Classes were canceled the next day, on Jan. 31, when the weather was not as extreme. That decision didn’t make sense at all.

In addition, we think that the responsibility of maintaining snow and ice safety should not fall upon the shoulders of students who pay to attend Pitt-Johnstown.

We believe that junior Ryan Stewart should not have had to take the initiative to purchase a shovel and clear steps at the Living/Learning Center on Jan. 21 as maintenance workers drove by.

We think that the fact that some maintenance workers can’t seem to keep up with the weather is troubling, especially with the extreme conditions brought on by the polar vortex.

We believe that it was misleading for administrators to e-mail students saying that all walkways and staircases had been shoveled and salted when that wasn’t the case.

Furthermore, commuters were forced to go on dangerous roads to make it to class.

While we realize that in the real world, work may not get canceled due to cold temperatures, students are paying to attend a university where proper maintenance measures are not taken to ensure safety.

We think that the combination of information fumbles and constant maintenance issues displays a general sense of confusion and lack of reasonable leadership.

The way the situation was handled causes us to wonder what it’s going to take for preventative actions to be taken in the future.

We think that if the choice falls between student safety and a day of classes, the priority should always be student safety, despite the pressures that may push faculty to hold classes.

Perhaps the way decisions are made could stand some scrutiny.

Certainly, students and parents, many of the 2,800 who signed a petition Jan. 29 to close the campus Jan. 30 should be heard when decisions are made.