Wednesday, many Yalies found themselves nostalgic for high school. As schools and businesses across Connecticut shut their doors, students, faculty, and Yale employees trudged or drove to work through the snowpocalypse. The situation was dangerous and inefficient, with scattershot class cancellations, fully operational dining halls, and road and path clearing incomplete throughout most of the morning. In short, the University did not handle yesterday’s blizzard well. Instead of sending warning the night before the forecast blizzard, an e-mail outlining closures and weather policy was sent to the Yale community unacceptably late, at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, Harvard, the University of New Haven and MIT all closed for the day and posted clear guidelines on their website.
A better and safer approach would have been the traditional one: to institute a snow day. Rather than asking students to risk broken ankles and professors to brave snow-covered roads, all classes should have been canceled by the administration.
Although many non-essential staff stayed home Wednesday, Yale could have allowed dining hall workers and custodial staff to avoid the dangerous task of driving in a blizzard by stocking up on pre-prepared meals and foregoing a day of cleaning.
All of this requires forward planning, something that was missing Tuesday night. By instituting official snow days and better informing the community before blizzards, Yale can brave the winter safely and effectively — no matter how frightful the weather.