OPINION: Guilt-free snow days are justified

By William Barnhart, Columnist

With the recent closure and delaying of university operations, there has been a great deal of discussion of the choices made by the university. It is undeniable that the school was justified in closing Wednesday. But not everyone believes that you should be excited about a snow day. Instead, some professors or students may claim that other students should be against having any. These reasons arise from arguments based on the financial costs of classes and the value of the education. I believe that these arguments are not necessarily applicable to snow days due to the amount of material covered in a semester.

Some people claim that students lose money when classes are cancelled. The issue with this claim is that it assumes that one class cancellation could make a difference in the quality of your education. It would require multiple class cancellations in order to have a significant impact on a student’s education. The unfortunate truth is that many students are not able to invest the time to learn their curriculum at a comfortable pace. This is usually due to classes conflicting with each other in terms of workload and difficulty. Even students who can manage their time effectively may find themselves struggling to catch up in their classes. As a result, students would have less time to study and they would be more inclined to favor a day off. Some students even say that the most learning is done at the end of the semester when they have to study for their final exams. There is more time to study for final exams than for midterms because there are usually not as many assignments holding them back from studying for their final exams. Having a snow day could be a great opportunity for someone to study for an exam that’s around the corner.

People could argue that better time management could solve these problems, but not all classes are alike. A school closure could mean the world to students because it would give them an opportunity to get their work done and they wouldn’t have to worry about skipping class, if necessary. This could be a issue for students with intense workloads, which could cause them to go a night without sleeping. This could be even more serious for commuter students. Commuting could be a issue when combined with sleep deprivation. Commuter students don’t have the same resources as those who live on campus, which could make their lifestyles more difficult when combined with travel time. Some students have to work while they are attending classes in order to pay for those classes, and their work schedule could even conflict with their class schedule. For them, a day off could be an opportunity to catch up with their classes because their employment status requires them to invest time elsewhere.

The cancellation of classes a week after spring break should not be used to make students feel ashamed. Some students needed an opportunity to rest over spring break in order to prevent  burnout. Not everyone has a choice when it comes to doing work because some people are simply too exhausted. That’s why some students are desperate when it comes to class cancellations.

Photo by Nicolas Macotto