Ithaca College Didn’t Adequately Consider Off-Campus Students During Snowtorious B.I.G.
It was what I had been waiting for: an Intercom Alert e-mail with the subject line “Notice to Campus Community Concerning Severe Weather.” It had been snowing hard for over 24 hours and I just knew that classes would be forced to cancel. But I guess there was one thing I had forgotten: Ithaca College stays open in bad weather, “no matter how extreme” that weather may be.
The main reason Ithaca College feels it can stay open when over two feet of snow is accumulating rapidly on the roads is that we are considered a residential college. And no, when I lived in Terrace 2, walking five minutes in a snowstorm to a building I could see from my bedroom was not a big deal. But seeing as students were literally paid to live off campus this year due to the overpopulated freshman class, ignoring the Ithaca College community that lives outside the residential bubble is simply weird.
My roommate was one of many to get into a small car accident Friday, and what did she get in return? Was it an Ithaca College official apology—“Sorry for making you drive your shitty Civic up here?” No. Was it an e-mail from her professor excusing incapacitated off-campus students from coming to class? Of course not. It was a warning from the campus police not to drive in dangerous conditions. Awesome.
However, walking isn’t the safest way to travel in these conditions, either. Every sidewalk I attempted to walk on that day was more or less indistinguishable from the lawns bordering it—slippery and white. The road was the easiest way to walk, and yet with the number of spin-outs I saw that day, I’m not sure I would have been comfortable even crossing the street. It’s also unbelievably hard to open your eyes when the snow is blowing directly into them; I still haven’t mastered walking a full mile with my eyes closed.
I understand that this is not the worst storm Ithaca, or many of us, have experienced. But still, most of the students off campus are not adequately equipped to deal with this much snow. Not only do most of us not quite know how to handle our cars correctly in such weather, we don’t own weather-appropriate clothing made to trek up a hill for 40-minutes to make it to a 50-minute class. And believe me, I have yet to have a landlord that plows my driveway before his own.
So next time I’m on my way to campus, spin out and wreck my car in an attempt to get to a class on time so that I don’t waste one of my oh-so-precious three absences, Ithaca College, it would be great if you could foot the bill. Thx.
– Carly Willsie