Should Western cancel classes more often?

London Rivers, Courier Staff

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As the weather continues to fluctuate in Macomb, it’s quite noticeable to see that conditions are becoming more dangerous for students and staff on Western’s campus.

I shouldn’t be walking out of my house, or be hesitant to walk up and down hills on campus in fear of breaking a hip, my back or any other body parts for that matter. Sidewalks should be shoveled when there’s snow and salted when there’s ice. It’s understandable that there are people who have to work to make this possible. However, since Western doesn’t seem to be planning on closing school every other day, then shoveling and salting the sidewalks and streets on campus shouldn’t be that difficult. Students are having accidents weekly if not daily from falling, slipping and or minor-heart stopping attacks from almost falling or slipping. Then, there’s the fact that we’re expected to still attend our classes when it’s -15 degrees outside. No amount of layered clothing will secure my body’s warmth when frostbite and hyperthermia come knocking at my face as wind chills grow colder. These are health concerns and it’s scary nonetheless when nothing is done to ensure our safety when it’s clear that this weather is going to continue to fluctuate for a little while longer.

Aside from these issues, there’s also the lack of consideration of students who have to commute to campus. I’m sure some of our cars laughed at us last week when we tried to start them considering how cold it was outside. Which concludes that if our cars are not starting, then that should be reasonable evidence that I shouldn’t be walking to or from campus in such weather either. Then there are the students who live on campus and or have a short walk to campus who also suffer as well. The buses that are used daily to transport students to and from work or class are starting later some days and or not running at all due to weather conditions. What sense does it make to still have students attending class if buses aren’t even required to be in service during harsh weather conditions?

Students, faculty and staff are human too. Some of them have to commute to campus, and some commute from towns outside of Macomb. I am aware of what closing campus entails for loss of work, missed lectures and other important matters here at Western. However, none of that matters when people’s lives are at risk. I shouldn’t have to choose between missing class or sparing my health all for a 10 minute walk to campus. We may be adults, but adults get cold too. Then, there’s the idea that immunity decreases with age, and that doesn’t help when it’s winter one day and spring the next. I understand that proper planning needs to be in place when such circumstances occur; however, it would nice if more consideration was taken into account the next time the weather decides to bring freezing rain and ice storms to town.

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