Don’t worry, it’s just a little rain

Written by: Abigail Chaff

When Kent State, Tri-C and all of the Akron Public Schools closed on Tuesday, and when many of the public schools preemptively canceled Wednesday classes as well, you have to wonder: Why is The University of Akron open?

I know I was not the only one cursing the administration under my breath as I trekked to class through the blowing rain on Tuesday morning. I was actually surprised that I made it, that I wasn’t lifted off the ground when the wind caught my umbrella and threatened to either pull me over or snap the umbrella in half.

If The University of Akron has such a large commuter base, with most of its students, faculty and staff traveling long distances to campus, why would the administration put everyone through such high winds, driving rain and flooded streets?

Can the university really not stand to lose a day of revenue? No students and no staff on campus means no long lines at Starbucks, no one paying $5 for the smallest amount of General Tso’s chicken possible, no parking tickets being written, and salaries still having to be paid even when no work is done.

This situation reminds us all that we are not attending an institution of higher learning: we are funding a business.

UA is in the business of making money and keeping up appearances. The administration can’t afford to shut down school for a day when there is a new campus design that needs to be paid for.

A little rain is not going to stop UA from growing. We are on the fast track to becoming a more selective and highly-rated university. That doesn’t happen overnight. Trees must be planted, glass buildings must be erected, tuition must be raised, and coffees must be bought in order to pay for it all.

Keep the image of that beautiful school in mind as you drive to campus with your windshield wipers at full speed — the image that your higher tuition is paying for; the image that most of us won’t see before we graduate.

Try not to slip as you walk into your building for a class that should have been canceled. It may be hard to decide whether it’s better to get wet from the rain or to struggle with an umbrella while you walk to class, but I’m sure it was much harder for the administration to not make the call of just saving us all the hassle and canceling school.

Hurricane Sandy has proven to be unforgiving, but we can all be. I’m sure all of my professors will understand when I have to miss class due to the cold I caught on Tuesday.

I am positive that the university will buy me a new umbrella. The wind and the rain will pass. What is one day in or out of class in the long run?

I know that many students are dedicated to their studies and that, come rain or shine, they will be in class to get their attendance and participation points. And good for those few who were so passionate to drive through the storm to class.

However, many students were unfortunate enough to lose power. Even more unfortunately, many students may have lost power while in class. What were these unfortunate souls to do while being stuck in class as their food spoiled in their refrigerators?

Many students had to come home to flooded basements and leaking roofs, as I did. Aside from avoiding the unsafe driving conditions, our commuters could have taken the day off to mend the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Every one of my classes started out with the question “Who doesn’t have power?” and every time about half of the students raised their hands. It was not a fun day to be in class.