Editorial: Inclement weather policy lauded

Northwind Staff

There has been discussion among students as to whether or not NMU should have canceled classes on Tuesday, Jan. 22, and Wednesday, Jan. 23.

While the conditions on Tuesday were severe, with temperatures dropping well below zero, some students believe the decision to attend class should be left up to the individual.

The lack of uniformity regarding attendance at NMU makes this choice one which may affect a student’s grade. Some professors require full attendance, while others do not. This is one factor that influences a student’s choice to brave the weather.

Students and faculty should also take into account those who commute, and not just by car, but by bike and foot. When the temperature is well below zero, merely being outside for a period of 15 to 20 minutes can put students at risk for frostbite.

When torrents of snow and blistering wind buffet campus and local roadways, it becomes incredibly dangerous for those driving, walking and biking to even make it to campus.

NMU’s “Inclement Weather Policy” indicates that “it is recognized, however, that under certain extreme weather conditions, students and/or staff  members cannot and should not attempt to come to campus; this is a decision which must ultimately be made by each individual, regardless of the reason.”

Frigid temperatures and massive snowfall are reason enough to cancel classes as a matter of public safety.  Though students pay for their classes, there is no lecture at NMU worth putting your life at risk to attend.

When the weather is bad, the roads are slick with ice and the temperatures are dangerously low, NMU should cancel classes in the interest of the student body.

While individuals always have the choice to skip out on a class because of dangerous conditions, the university has a policy for a reason: the administration does not want their students to put themselves in danger in order to attend classes.

The inclement weather protects students from the elements and academic punishment for a reasonable absence.