Calls for heavy snowfall early Wednesday morning caused many Michigan State professors to move in-person classes online for the day, while some cancelled them altogether. Other classes were held in-person as normal.
Human biology sophomore Zoe Avery Sutter had two scheduled in person classes on Wednesday. Sutter’s Spanish class was held via Zoom for the day, but attendance was required for her chemistry lab.
Sutter said she received a reminder on D2L Tuesday night saying lab sessions would start on time, unless the University closed, and that her and her classmates should give themselves extra time to commute safely, as attendance policies and expectations would apply as usual.
“I understand the importance of being in person when it’s a whole lot different from being online, but it’s also a safety concern right now because the roads are bad and the buses aren’t running,” Sutter said. “You can’t even tell the people have plowed at this point, and the snow is just coming down over and over and over, and it’s not going to stop until tomorrow at least.”
Sutter said she feels having class is excessive and that Zoom is always an option.
“We’re all very well versed in Zoom and people have done labs on Zoom for the last year and a half, two years, including myself,” Sutter said. “It’s a possibility, and it’s an option and they chose not to choose it, so it’s frustrating.”
Human biology sophomore Lorena Salto had in-person classes on Wednesday, but did not go because of the snow.
“I couldn’t go because there was no way I could make it out the driveway, and my car is terrible in snow,” Salto wrote in a direct message. “I think it’s crazy because I know they are more than capable of switching to online for just one day.”
One of Salto’s classes was held remotely on Wednesday but the others were not.
“If they can accommodate us like that, why couldn’t others,” Salto wrote. “I live about 15 minutes from campus, but the drive would take me double the time. Streets haven’t been plowed by me yet. If people are telling us to stay home, and businesses and other schools are closed, why should I have to risk my life to attend an hour long class.”
Fisheries and Wildlife junior Gabe Phibbs said he had an in-person lecture and lab on Wednesday and that he drove to class in the snow.
“I drive a 2,500 Suburban with four-wheel drive high and low and I was fishtailing to class,” Phibbs said. “Drifting basically, with four-wheel drive on, the entire way to and from both classes.”
Kinesiology sophomore Giulia Castiglioni wrote in a Twitter direct message that she almost slipped and fell at least 20 times before 11 a.m.
“I got to class soaking wet,” Castiglioni wrote. “I am very lucky to have a good winter coat and boots, I cannot imagine what it would be like to walk without proper attire. I don’t think the sidewalks are safe to walk on, you are at risk of falling every five seconds.”
An animal science senior borrowed their friend’s SUV to get to class and got stuck on the way there.
“When I got there my professor told us we were being ‘too soft about the snow’ and we never used to be this bad before Corona,” the student wrote in a direct message. “I just thought it was so rude, trying to go through college during a pandemic wasn’t hard enough on our lives, to be told that when I even trekked through the snow blew my mind how inconsiderate he was.”
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