Elements of chaos

It snowed Tuesday night — a lot. Some students took their own snow days after getting stuck at home, some professors cancelled their classes to alleviate the stress of traveling to campus and quite a few brave souls toughed it out.

This snowstorm isn’t anything new. We’ve all seen it before, and it all plays out the same way: word of a big storm spreads across campus, people start wondering if the powers that be will cancel class, it starts snowing, we all hope for that YSU Alert text message, we go to sleep, we wake up, we go to class — or try at least — and we complain about not having a snow day.

The roads were plowed Wednesday morning — well, depending on where you commute from, some of them were. The job wasn’t terribly effective, but there was less snow on them than there could have been. There were also a number of
cases involving drivers being somewhat less than cautious out there, making the already treacherous drive a tad more dangerous.

Many arrived at YSU thinking that campus would be a safe haven from the storm. It wasn’t. Or at least, it wasn’t as good as it should have been.

Sidewalks were icy. Stairs were still covered in snow — steps to The Jambar office had about four inches on them. The roads around
campus were in noticeably worse condition than other roads in Youngstown and the parking areas were basically sheets of ice, to the point were the Penguin Shuttles were bypassing the outer lots.

In short, campus was open but it wasn’t in condition to be open. When
students have to fear ice in their
ride to campus and their walk to class, it isn’t safe.

No one likes the student that complains about school being open every time there’s a dusting of snow.
But Wednesday was different. The combination of snow and ice and freezing rain made it a complex
problem. There were two options that should have been
considered by the administration: either make campus safe to cross by salting, plowing and whatever else had to be done or cancel classes.

Neither of those things happened and there were classrooms that were half-filled with students who probably wish they weren’t there.