We are supposed to have a bad March snow storm tomorrow. The campus may be closed, but it may remain open. Sometimes the bad weather is out and away from the campus, so the campus remains open. We will see. But this reminds me of what another professor said to me last year: “Don’t you suspect that lots of times off-campus students use the ‘excuse’ of bad weather not to attend class?”
I replied, “Possibly. Maybe so.” But here is the thing—it does not matter. Bad weather is up to the students. The decision to drive to campus is up to the students. Even if the sun is shining brightly into my office, if a student says he or she believes the roads might be bad, that’s it.
It always has to be the student’s call. To even suggest to a student that I think the roads are fine is not something I would consider doing. I say this because I know faculty who have encouraged students to travel on the highways after the students have stated they are concerned about travelling.
And when a student asks, “Well, do you think I can make it OK?”
My response can only be one of two things: “I would advise against travelling,” or “I cannot make that call for you, that is your decision—and I will respect whatever decision you make.”
For what it is worth, I believe the above absolutely.
(By the way, I believe, too, that if I look out the classroom window and see bad weather, I say three simple words to any students that I know have to travel: “Hit the road.”)