A new petition on Change.org is the center of social conversation at 1000 Hilltop Circle.
Students at UMBC are fed up with the school’s policy regarding snow days and are calling on President Freeman A. Hrabowski to make some changes as soon as possible.
Currently as the policy stands, UMBC has promised that it will alert all students and staff of whether or not they’re closing school due to inclement weather no later than 6 a.m.
The problem, according to petitioners, is that most UMBC students and staff are commuters which makes the long wait time a major inconvenience. According to CollegeBoard.com, only 34 percent of undergraduate students live on campus.
The controversy reached it’s peak on Wednesday night after the school failed to notify students of it’s closure status for Thursday classes until early Thursday morning.
The petition is calling for UMBC to start announcing closures or delays on the night before school starts by midnight if inclement weather is already taking place.
Megan Maskew, a student from Silver Spring, MD; who started the petition wrote the following:
It is our belief that this university should not put the lives of their commuting students at possible fatal risk when it is obvious, by a declaration of a state of emergency and massive closing of governmental, military and other educational organizations, by staying open past when travel is safe, and refusing to give more advanced notice of school closing.
Maskew goes on further to state:
There have been several reports of students who have had to sleep in Academic buildings or their friends’ apartment and dorm floors, due to their vehicles being unable to leave campus because the school had not closed early enough; and many commuter students have been required to decide between sleeping on couches on campus to attend their classes or missing them and receiving detrimental grades.
There have been several instances where students have made those hard choices due to the weather and the school’s lack of closing notification the night before only to find out at 4:55am that the school was closed and they were stuck on campus with dubious shelter and no classes to attend.
UMBC responded to the concerns of students via email on Thursday and the school also announced the closing of school for Friday, February 14th, 2014 on Thursday night before 12 a.m. But these actions haven’t stopped over 800 supporters (as of 12:38 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 14th, 2014) from signing the petition.
On a side note, check out this snow dragon built on UMBC’s campus.
Courtesy of @ElizabethLian