Manhattan College Says No More Snow Days?

by, Zoe DeFazio, Staff Writer

Manhattan College announced on December 10. that moving forward, classes will occur, even on days with inclement weather. 

Due to COVID-19, remote learning has increased and spread across the globe. Because of this widespread remote learning, beloved snow days are no longer necessary as the infrastructure for long-term and short-term online classes exists.

 “It is important to note that classes and events will continue in a remote or virtual mode during the period of the physical campus closing.” Steven Schreiner, the college’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, wrote in his email.

He continued. 

“In the spring 2021 term, we will be continuing to teach in the “Hyflex” mode, so, again, classes will shift to a fully remote status for any period that the college is closed due to inclement weather, even if only for part of a day,” Schreiner wrote.  “Any in-person events will be canceled, and event organizers are free to shift to  a virtual event and communicate with their audience such a change and the details of attendance.” 

Andrew Rivera, a freshman commuter student, understands the decision but feels that long-term remote education has already been difficult and inclement weather presents additional challenges to accessing remote classes. 

“Being remote has taken a toll on my mental health because I personally feel like I cannot keep up with the overflowing work that college provides,” Rivera said. “Days of inclement weather can be incredibly stressful by themselves because of the uncertainty that comes with it. There has been more than one occasion where I have found myself without power because of the weather. So regardless if a class cannot be in person the chances of me actually attending class could be slim.” 

Freshman Frank Lanzilotti shared similar concerns to Rivera about the ability to access class on days of inclement weather. 

“I think the school’s decision to eliminate snow days for next semester is very selfish,” he said. “Not only does it upset people in the sense that their precious snow days that were longed for are gone, but it can be very complicated to those who live in areas that have a tendency to lose power.”

Another student, Hayden Gretczko, feels that it would be better to reschedule class than go remote for a day when there is snow on the ground. 

“Digital learning has been complicated for me and some of my friends,” Gretczko said. “I just can’t seem to focus online as much as I do in person. I would rather have a snow day and have no classes at all and then have makeup classes in person than be remote and not retain any information.”While the college has announced this decision, the college has yet to face a day of inclement weather while in-person classes are ongoing, as the fall semester is being finished with all students and instructors working remotely. This announcement does present new concerns, as previous discussions about how early a snow day notification needs to go out so commuters, staff and faculty do not leave their homes if they do not have to have occurred but have not been resolved.