Students have not been complaining about the recent snow days at Castleton State College. But for professors, snow days carry issues people probably overlook. As well as falling behind schedule, some say they are genuinely concerned about the safety of students and colleagues.
“I am more concerned first with the safety, my safety, and the students safety,” business administration professor Scott Hanselman said when asked for his thoughts on the unplanned days off.
Vermont road conditions in recent weeks have made it difficult for faculty and students to make it to school.
“I think any time we cancel should be for safety,” Hanselman said.
That being said, the first snow day on Jan. 27 dropped minimal snow, making students and faculty question the decision to cancel.
The hardest part about snow days from a professor’s standpoint is missing class sessions. If you look at any course syllabus, there is almost an exact outline of what you will be learning, and when you will be learning it. It acts as a pre-made schedule with lessons planned for each day. When snow days cause class cancellation, it creates a new burden.
“Either you make the students entirely responsible for the material, or you end up cutting some things,” said criminal justice professor Brad Hunt.
This isn’t the case for every professor on snow days. If a professor’s class schedule isn’t too grueling, he or she may be able to manage just fine.
“This last snow day on Monday was great, because my Monday classes are easy to make up for,” said communication professor Robert Gershon.
For other professors, it isn’t so easy.
“You end up losing time, and you may have had something planned that day,” said English professor Jeanne-Marie Morrissey.
“It adds another level of anxiety for the students, and to a certain extent the faculty,” he said.
From a student standpoint however, snow days are the best because classes get cancelled and it gives them a chance to do what they want. And even those professors who fear getting behind, will admit to having a snow day soft spot.
“I’m not gonna lie, if you get a day off it’s kind of nice,” Hunt said with a smile.