Professors, students struggle with snow days



(Webster Groves, Feb. 10, 2011) Last week, Webster University closed for two days due to the heavy snow and ice that fell on the area. The snow days caused the flow of some classes to be disrupted. The snow has forced teachers to cram everything they had planned into one class or cut it out all together.

KAT MYERS / The Journal
A Webster staff member works to remove the fallen ice and snow three days after the storm on Friday, Feb. 4.

Dianna Rattanaray, a senior interactive digital media major, said she has missed one or two days in all of her five classes.

“My programming for interactive digital media II has been canceled twice due to inclement weather,” Rattanaray said. “The rest have been canceled for the first time.”

Rattanaray said she thought closing campus is an easy task but knows many people are involved in the decision.

“It’s a process,” said Dan Pesold, director of Public Safety. “The decision lies with President Stroble.”

The decision to call a snow day starts with the Public Safety employees who stay on campus after it is closed to see what the weather is like. Pesold watches the news to see what is expected to happen with the weather, and after he makes an assessment, he contacts Vicki Fredrick, associate vice president of finance and administration, who calls Julian Schuster, provost and senior vice president, who asks President Stroble to make                  the final decision.

Pesold said there are several factors he must consider before closing campus.

Some of these factors are whether students will get hurt walking to class, whether faculty, staff and students will be able to make it to campus safely and making sure the weather doesn’t worsen.

Roy Overmann, adjunct faculty for the communications and journalism department, had both his undergraduate and graduate courses canceled this week due to snow.

“I’ve taught here for twelve years and I’ve never had this happen,” Overmann said.

Because of the weather, Overmann  said he’s had to make some changes to his classes. To try to stay on schedule, he will cut curricula out that aren’t as important and combine two classes into one, he said.

“It’s difficult (to make up classes) because of students schedules,” Overmann said.

Rattanaray and Overmann agree snow days are the best thing that can be done class and safety wise. Others look at snow days in a lighter perspective.

“I love them,” said Ed Bishop, faculty in the School of Communications. “Makes me feel like a little kid again, but two back-to-back and I get bored at home.”


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