In high school I would wake up hoping that the meteorologists were right for once, and that my principal would decide to cancel school in the wake of an impending snow storm. But, now in college, I cringe at the thought of another day wasted because of a typically wrong prediction of ice and snow.
The biggest issue behind excessive snow days is the money wasted, not only on the students’ behalfs, but also on the school’s behalf. Rider prices annual tuition at $36,120 for a full-time student earning 12-18 credits. Assuming this money goes towards our classes, and that the average student takes 15 credits per semester, each class costs around $3,612, which averages out to about $258 per week. All of this really just means that, with every class hour we miss because of a snow day, we are wasting a great deal of money that I’m sure we’d rather see put to use, regardless of the extra time a snow day might provide.
With every blanket of snow we receive, every school is required to clean up its campus and make it safe. Rock salt, plows and shovels are the only things that bring solace after a blizzard, and these things aren’t so easy (or fun) to come by. Snow Magazine, a well-informed magazine on snow-related issues, says that 150-200 pounds of rock salt is needed for roughly every acre salted, which means numerous 50-pound bags of rock salt are needed just to ensure safety at Rider. But before rock salt can even play a part in the process, the campus needs to be plowed and shoveled, which calls for the campus maintenance staff to work quickly, and usually overtime, just to relieve the grounds of ice and snow.
Let’s not forget that students aren’t the only people getting a snow day. When a university shuts down, so do its faculty and staff. Last year, in the frozen tundra that was Rider, classes were canceled and the campus was vacant. I received the luxury of hiking through layers of snow from the extremely “convenient” Poyda Hall to Daly’s for half a bowl of soup and a bagel or two. While classes had been canceled to benefit the safety of our faculty and staff, those on campus were still plagued with snow and ice.
Overall, a snow day can be quite a burden and disadvantage. We waste money on classes, we are left in the snow to fend for ourselves, and we are often left bored or with nothing to do. Snow days might be fun, but I, for one, prefer to get as much out of this whole “in debt for the rest of my life” college thing as I can.
While we can’t avoid the inevitable winter and the snow it unleashes upon us, we can cross our fingers for fewer snow days, or, maybe, just hope it snows on a Friday and see where the snow fun can take us.
Sophomore journalism major
Printed in the 02/04/15 issue.