Mark Streeter, an undeclared freshman, woke up early with four numbers on his mind: 4 – 8 – 0 – 0.

It was early and it was snowing. He knew the USM Storm Line might tell him to stay in bed, that classes were canceled.

Though Gorham campus resident Streeter enjoys missing the occasional class he said he doesn’t like snow days because everything else on campus shuts down.

“There’s nothing to do but sit in your room and just chill,” said Streeter.

Because of last week’s snowstorm, the University canceled classes on four separate days. Afternoon classes were canceled on Monday all classes were canceled on Tuesday, and Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

The days off from class were a blessing for some who needed the extra time to finish homework, but for others like Streeter the cancellations were bitter-sweet.

“It brings back something about being a kid. It’s a throwback to being in the third grade, to see if school is cancelled or not,” he said.

For many educators, however, the snow days are a massive headache.

“It is tough when you have a syllabus-it throws everything off or when you have a speaker due to come in and they cannot because of the snow day,” said Kim Turner, assistant athletic director, who teaches two classes on the Gorham campus.

President Richard Pattenaude decides whether or not to cancel classes.

“All decisions are made by him and his advisers or a designee if the President is going to be away,” said Craig Hutchinson, executive assistant to the vice president for the Student Development.

Hutchinson said that the administration receives a lot of complaints regarding its decision to cancel classes.

“Even when school is canceled we get complaints, one student was upset because school was canceled and they could not use the computer lab,” he said. “Snow days are a problem you can not do much about, you just take them in stride and then deal with them,” said Hutchinson. “With the weather not being the same in Portland and Gorham, sometimes it’s a tough call.”

The storm that hit the Portland area last week is one of the worst in recent memory, according to local forecasters. The storm dropped over 2 feet in some areas and made travel hazardous, if not impossible.

With winter nearly over many students will breathe a sigh of relief.

“The snow is giving me the shaft,” said Corey Girad, an undeclared freshman. He said that because the snow made him miss a test, he will have to stay on campus a few days longer than planned when finals roll around.

Another student, freshman history major John Youngblood, does not enjoy snow days either.

“I just sat in my pajamas for three days with a headache, and I blame it on the snow days.”

Staff Writer Emery Bickford can be contacted at: [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here