Snow days become commuter’s nightmare


John Davidson | The Chart

A lone car drives on campus during the snow day cancellation on Wednesday, March 4. The campus shut down almost entirely on Wednesday, with the Beimdiek Recreation Center being one of the only exceptions.

Winter weather has shown up on the Missouri Southern campus. The decision as to whether or not to cancel classes and close the campus is a complicated one. And if you are a commuter student, it gets even more complicated.

The decision to close the campus is not a simple yes or no answer. There are several things that go into it.

“We look at the current conditions. How much has it snowed? Is there ice covering the pavement? What is the forecast for the next 24 hours? What are the area schools doing?” said Rob Yust, vice president for business affairs at Southern.

Yust says that the decision is based on his information but he will also consult others.

“I will discuss the situation with President [Alan] Marble about whether to cancel classes based on the information above,” said Yust.

When the campus is closed due to inclement weather there will be some additional costs associated to campus as well as lost revenue. However, the lost revenue has not been calculated but overtime wages and possible third party snow removal adds to the costs.

“Our number one concern is for the safety of students and employees and the notification to all parties as early as possible,” Yust said.

In the last couple of weeks, with a few rounds of winter weather in the Joplin area, many commuter students have taken to the Missouri Southern Facebook page to express their feelings. As one of these commuter students, I do agree with Yust and safety is my priority. As I drive nearly 75 miles to campus, my decision to come to class is based on whether or not I think I can make the round trip, safely.

While reading some of these comments, I agree with some of the frustration. However, I do agree that if the majority should be able to safely get to campus, and the campus is in shape to accommodate students and staff, let’s have class. While us commuter students are frustrated by the decision to close or not at times, we must be mindful and respectful of those who do make decisions.

If campus isn’t closed and you don’t feel you can safely make it to campus, do what I did — send your instructor an email and let them know. Uncertain of what they might say? Well, mine said, “be safe.” Your instructors aren’t mean or evil, they are here to teach and advise — and if you’re lucky like me, your adviser is also your teacher.

Snow days were fun when we were in public school because that meant a free day to sleep in or play outside. Now that we are paying for our education, however, snow days have become days we can never get back that only cause our work to pile up.