Multiple school closings give semester rocky start

Tuesday marked Eastern Michigan University’s third university shutdown due to extreme cold this year. Students and professors agree that these “cold days” have made for a rocky start to the semester.

“I’ll have to condense things, obviously. It’s a huge pain,” English department professor Tom Ulch said. “But the university is making the right calls.”

He feels it’s a matter of safety and doesn’t want students to endanger their lives just to attend class.

English department professor Tony Spicer also believed the university was right in closing for the brutal winter weather.

“It is important that no one be put in danger by having to drive in such dangerous conditions,” Spicer said. “The roads are abysmal.”

Ulch pointed out that even if classes went on as planned, half of the students would probably not show up anyways. This means he ends up teaching that lesson twice – once to the students who brave the cold and once to the ones who chose to stay home.

Sophomore and psychology major Ebony Myers agreed that the conditions were unsafe for students and faculty alike.

“Even though snow days sometimes affects learning and schedules, it is better to be somewhere warm than to have people get sick or die due to severe cold,” Myers said. “Better safe than sorry.”

She also said the cold days have affected her semester both positively and negatively.

“It’s a positive because I have a lot of time to get work done,” Myers said. “But it’s a negative because missing class causes students to have to learn whatever was going to be discussed or taught that day on their own.”

Myers said that the days off have allowed her to get ahead on her schoolwork and given her more time to study.

“The reality is that, for professors, we want to be in the classroom teaching,” English department professor Tony Spicer said. “We can adjust schedules, but any cancellation can throw our internal calendars out of sorts, just as it can for students.”

Ulch expressed a similar sentiment to Spicer’s, stating that he felt that the biggest drawback to missing so many classes this early in the semester is that he has not yet been able to connect or interact with his students as much as he would like.

“Connecting with students is my favorite part of the job,” Ulch said.

Despite the inconvenience, Spicer is confident everyone will adjust.

“It will all work out,” Spicer said. “EMU’s teachers are top-notch, as are our students.”

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