Campus LifeNews

The costs of closing campus

The snowstorms that blanketed cars and streets and closed the University of Washington campuses have gone away. Feb. 4–5, Feb. 8 and Feb. 11–12 were all days where the three UW cam­puses shutdown. In the storms wake, campus closures left students, profes­sors and administrators trying to get themselves back up to speed with where they should currently be at. But ex­actly how much has the snow shut­downs cost everyone?

For students, the snow closed down buildings and resources that are impor­tant to success in classes and studying. Places like the library and Teaching and Learning Center — where students can get help with school work, especially on researching and writing papers — were inaccessible. The counseling centers and the Pantry, which provides food and hygiene supplies to students — espe­cially to low income students and stu­dents in need — were closed down as well. To put a monetary value on how much the snow interrupted their educa­tion, the storm cost students anywhere from $250.24 to $375.36, based on a per-hour breakdown of tuition.

Some students had problems with traveling even after the UW campuses reopened. Certain roadways were still covered in snow by the time UW Ta­coma reopened on Feb. 13. When the rain-snow mix came the following days, snow on the ground turned to slush, which can be just as dangerous to drive in as snow or ice.

“Even though the campus reopened Wednesday [Feb. 13], the roads were still bad where I was,” UWT senior and U.S. History major Abigail Zirinsky said. “I couldn’t get up one of the hills because the snow and slush was still so bad. I had to miss my classes on Thursday [Feb. 14] too because of the road conditions.”

Students who are parents or older siblings were confronted with another problem altogether — some school dis­tricts, such as Tacoma Public Schools, stayed closed or had delayed start times even after UWT reopened. This meant that students who normally counted on their children or younger siblings to be in school while they are in school them­selves had to find and make other plans and still keep up with their education.

Faculty faced different challenges in recuperating from the snowstorm. Mid­terms were pushed back into the latter parts of weeks six and seven. Assignments had to be moved around, due dates had to be extended and even appointments and office hours were shifted around to help accommodate students.

Campus administration had impor­tant meetings and planned events around campus were postponed and pushed back to later dates. Even sev­eral events were postponed, one of them including the annual Huskies on the Hill, which was scheduled for Feb. 11. Huskies on the Hill is a tri-campus event where students from UW Bothell, Se­attle and Tacoma stay all day in Olympia to lobby congress for higher education.

Administration from both UW Ta­coma and UW Seattle kept students updated with the important informa­tion regarding the status of the cam­puses. They also had the responsibility of ensuring that students had the help and support they needed when coming back to school after all of the delays.

“We recognize that the weather over the last several days can be taxing on everyone’s energy and resources,” said an email sent to all students by the Student and Engagement Services Team. “Please know that we have a number of programs and services avail­able through campus to support you.”