Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Our Opinion: Snow days prevent students from getting their money’s worth

A USM snow plow clears the roads on the Gorham Campus two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the semester USM students have been snowed-out of their classes five times.
Patrick Higgins
A USM snow plow clears the roads on the Gorham Campus two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the semester USM students have been snowed-out of their classes five times.

Posted on February 09, 2015 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

If there’s one more snow day spree at USM, we’re not sure how students are going to get what they’re paying for out of their courses.

It’s becoming difficult to keep focused and stay concentrated on our studies with constant interruptions, and with most professors kicking class into high-gear to catch up on the syllabus before the end of the year, we’re speeding through readings and assignments that should really take more time.

At what point should students start wondering if their money is being put to good use? Generally, most professors start slashing students’ grades when students don’t show up and three or four absences can sometimes result in automatic failing grades. But if three or four classes are missed due to weather, students aren’t refunded any of the cost for that class and are often forced into working double-duty for the rest of the semester to meet expectations the professor had set beforehand.

If we’re scheduled to read, go over and complete assignments over two chapters in a text book, it isn’t reasonable to jam another five chapters and terse analysis into an hour because of decisions made by the administration. In some courses, class topics are sometimes completely ignored or passed over because of cancellations and students miss out on pieces of what they’re paying for. And we know for certain there are students out there that are generally bummed at missing class content.

It isn’t fair for students to be charged for classes they aren’t attending. It’s like canceling a show at the State Theater and not refunding anyone who purchased tickets.

It’s been snowing a lot in Maine. That’s unavoidable. But maybe more preventative snow removal and facilities action could reduce the number of classes that students miss. Even days after a storm, students are forced to trudge through snow and slush covering heavily used walkways and parking is still limited because of snow on campus.

We’re paying students and we desire to learn. We know you can’t control the weather, but any more snow days are going to seriously put us behind schedule, which we hope won’t cause us to frantically be catching up by the time finals come around.

 

 

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