With every winter comes the burden of school closings and delays. Northampton Community College is no stranger to that subject.
The polar vortex has hit the East Coast hard this year, causing schools all over to make difficult decisions on whether or not to close school. Here at NCC, the closing policy seems to spark a love/hate relationship among students and faculty.
Many students are unpleased with how the school handles closings and delays. Factors like commuting to school and the timeliness of NCC’s decision are causing the most anger.
Lukas Giovarelli, a junior studying Sports Management, believes that Northampton needs to alert students of delays and closings sooner than they do now.
“I think NCC should be quicker on deciding when it is going to stay open or close,” he said.
Second year Nursing student Kaitlyn Coiro agrees that the college needs to speed up the process.
“Recently I had an 8 AM class and then [Northampton] decided to cancel the classes at 12 PM. It was already snowing really badly and it was hard driving,” she said.
Other students think that NCC needs to take commuters into consideration when making their decision.
“They need to consider more of the areas, not just [areas] around the school,” said Emily Wallace, a second year student majoring in Radio/TV.
Students from all around the Lehigh Valley travel to NCC and weather is often worse in surrounding areas.
“I live in Stroudsburg and over there has a different climate than Bethlehem,” said Ashley Harrison, a third year Radio/TV student.
However, with all the negativity comes some (but not much) positivity. There are students who have no problem with the way NCC handles its closing policy.
Ruddy Jimenez has been at Northampton studying Computer Service and Management for two years. He claims that they haven’t failed him yet on weather warnings.
Similarly, current Veterinary Technician student, Alysha Allen, thinks that the school is generally wise and knows their limits when to close.
What students often don’t take into consideration, however, is the difficult process in which the school takes to make the important decision of whether or not to shut down the campus.
Heidi Butler, the director of Public Information and Community Relations, gives some insight on the process.
“The decision is complicated by the fact that students and faculty come from a wide geographic area. If the storm occurs in the middle of the night, those responsible for clearing walkways and parking lots have often been up for hours trying to clear the snow. The deans have roused themselves from bed before dawn to listen to the latest weather reports and check out the roads. It’s hard to predict the weather with any degree of certainty. Reaction to the decision to open or close the college is much easier – You can guarantee that someone will be unhappy either way.”
Agree or disagree with the school’s closing policy, students should rest assured that NCC is doing the best that they can to ensure every student’s safety when it comes to this winter’s treacherous weather.
Mother Nature will always cause problems and this winter is no different.