"Meaningful Snowdays" - Student safety should be paramount, PCJ and USG.
I'd like to preface this message by mentioning that I don't even own a car, and yet it is still a danger for me to walk to school given the icy sidewalk conditions. Additionally, any commuting student from nearby municipalities such as Denver, Lakewood or Arvada are exposed to extreme risks because of the road conditions. With the recent homecoming event, I think it should be paramount that the faculty, USG and PCJ focus on the meaningful safety of their students. As much of a burden it is to cancel school or temporarily postpone campus, and as much as students argue for snow days just to have the day off, I would personally feel safer and more comfortable in my everyday commute to a school that prioritizes my safety and comfort as opposed to putting MY LIFE at risk to learn how to take an integral or calculate a moment on a beam. Moreover, students with disabilities, temporary or permanent, have a significant disadvantage commuting to school or simply getting from class to class when it is difficult for someone with NO disabilities to walk from class to class without falling and potentially hurting themselves on campus grounds. Every student should have the same opportunity to attend school, and if the weather prevents one student from being able to succeed here at Mines, then why would it be okay for the faculty to open campus without, at minimum, a temporary closure of campus until facilities have time to allow for safe grounds for travel. I'd like to emphasize a previous What's Your Beef post outlining a commuter shuttle option for students living in Mines Park. At the very least, there should be additional support and/or options if school should continue with opening campus on days with dangerous conditions such as the morning of today, October 28th, 2019. I urge USG to be more attentive with the faculty and let the voice of the students be heard that we do feel unsafe and uncomfortable on mornings like today. We are not simply looking for a way to skips class. A lack of student comfort as a result of dangerous commuting conditions should be recognized in the Snowday decision. -Thank you
Ethan Stine commented
As a commuting student I have no trouble getting to school. Even on the days when they do call a snowday. Perhaps you're not from colorado, but get used to the snow because half the US is like this. Snow is just a part of living here. More snowdays just backs up everyone's schedule. If you can't walk in the snow, then you need to live further south or learn to. Thats just how the world works. Have you ever heard of UAF? Thay iceskate to class there. As an individual, it is your responsibility to adapt to your environment, not the other way around.
Adding here that on October 30th, a few minutes after the one hour delay to classes starting, the roads in Mines Park are not plowed and still covered in snow. The sidewalks look like they've been shoveled a little, but are still very snowy. If the roads right next to campus are covered, I have to imagine that other roads are still in dangerous conditions as well.
I agree that road and sidewalk conditions are often abhorrent- even for me, an abled person within walking distance- and feel dangerous on many instances on which we still don't get snow days. This is especially important because there is little on-campus housing for upperclassmen, and the campus-owned apartments (and most other housing in Golden) is too expensive for most students to afford. Public transportation can also be compromised by snow conditions, and for many students that is their only way to get here. And in addition to the legitimate safety and equality concerns, I would also like to point out that I don't think it should be viewed as unacceptable or lazy for students to want a little break while it is snowing. I think one of the biggest strains on our mental health at Mines is the sheer amount of work we have to do, all the time, unceasingly. So far it seems the mental health efforts on campus focus on de-stress techniques, but nothing has been done to actually target the cause of our stress. We are so overwhelmed by work, every day. The few snow days I have had here were the happiest days of my entire college experience, and gave me a morale boost that really helped me through the next few weeks. Mines already has such a culture of suffering, whether we want it or not- and that is only increased by the pressure students feel to come to school in dangerous conditions, and the ideation that feeling desperate for a day's reprieve from our work is irresponsible or lazy. It scares me when I have to walk to school on ice sheets, and it makes me feel good to play in the snow with my friends. Under PCJ we've had a lot more snow days than we've had historically, which I appreciate, but I think we can do better. Thank you, USG, for representing these issues for us!