September 21, 2020

Snowstorm cancels anticipated events

Due to a snow storm, the College cancels all classes. (Mia Ingui / opinions editor)

By Alyssa Gautieri
Features Editor

Wearing your pajamas to bed inside out, sleeping with a spoon under your pillow or throwing ice cubes out the window. Regardless of your go-to snow day superstition, students, faculty and administration awoke on Thursday, Feb. 9, to learn that the College had closed or canceled all classes, offices and events for the day.

On the eve of the expected snowstorm, eager students awaited the email from College Spokesperson David Muha.

Muha delivered the final decision at 9:48 a.m. on Thursday morning via an email to the College community.

“Due to the weather… all classes are canceled. Administrative offices will be closed. Evening events are canceled,” the email read.

While Muha has gained cult-like appreciation for calling off classes in the past, some students were not pleased to find that the snowstorm canceled many highly anticipated events including the Black Student Union’s Black Monologues, Chinese Student Association’s Chinese New Year and the Student Involvement Fair.

On-campus events require extensive coordination, such as locating an open space on campus, securing a vendor and advertising.

“My reaction (to the cancellation of the Chinese New Year) is one of dismay, as no one likes to see an event that has been planned for months fall through on the day of,” said Hubert Hsu, president of CSA and a junior nursing major.

With more than four inches of snow hitting Mercer County, N.J., and the safety of those traveling to campus to consider, canceling classes appeared to be the right call.

However, Hsu felt that the College made the wrong decision in canceling all on-campus events.

“I believe class cancellation was important to ensure student and staff safety, but events starting later in the day should not have been canceled,” he said. “An incremental update as time went on would have been a better approach to announce cancellations. On-campus events, especially those catered to the students, could have been better handled.”

Julia Dzurillary, vice president of TCNJ Culinary Club and a sophomore journalism and professional writing major, was also disappointed by the College’s decision to cancel all events.

With only four members on the Culinary Club’s executive board, Dzurillary said it was not easy to coordinate a table at the Student Involvement Fair, which was scheduled for Thursday evening.

Beside the struggle of coordinating their involvement at the event, the e-board was looking forward to recruiting new club members.

“The involvement fair was our opportunity to get more students involved,” Dzurillary said. “Of course, I love snow days as much as the next person, but I do not believe that classes or campus events were rightfully canceled. While the morning was super snowy, by (noon) the roads and the sidewalks were clear.”

Four inches of snow closes campus. (Mia Ingui / opinions editor)

Chris Haines, president of club fencing and a junior history and secondary education dual major, was also saddened by the fair’s cancellation.
“The involvement fair always gives us the opportunity to introduce students to fencing, a sport many people don’t get to try,” he said. “Canceling tonight’s events was problematic for the fencing team.”

Despite his disappointment, Haines thought the College made the right decision.

“I do think it is always better that the College (is cautious),” he said. “Many of the people that work at the recreation center, in the Stud and elsewhere on campus have a long commute. While the roads might have been clear by 6 p.m., I think the school ultimately made the right decision.”

Kristina Malmstrom, president of TCNJ Manhunt Club and a senior English major, agreed.

“I thought the involvement fair could have gone on,” she said. “The roads were much clearer by Thursday night, however, I understand why the College chose to close campus.”

Students and staff are actively working on rescheduling events that were canceled due to Thursday’s snowstorm.

“CSA’s No. 1 priority for the upcoming week is to find open space and a new date,” Hsu said. “We will work to ensure these cultural events go on and provide the College with the enrichment of not only Chinese culture, but also the camaraderie that can be built within the College’s diverse community.”

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