As a snow storm approaches Connecticut, Yale has cancelled all afternoon classes and activities on Wednesday, leaving many instructors with the hassle of rescheduling midterm exams.
The University announced that, based on the latest weather forecast, Yale will be closed beginning at noon on Wednesday “for non-critical services.” According to an earlier email the University sent to employees, the storm is expected to drop up to 12 inches of snow in New Haven. This will be the second storm to hit the city in the span of a week, on Friday, harsh winds led to the collapse of a Yale storage facility at 38 Sachem St. It will also mark the second time this year — and the fourth time since the beginning of 2017 — that the University has closed due to weather.
In the announcement, Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan and Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Janet Lindner wrote that “after the storm passes, deans will confer with their respective faculty about arrangements for make-up classes or exams.” Instructors of many classes, including large lectures such as Introductory Macroeconomics, who had originally scheduled midterms for Wednesday afternoon will now have to reschedule the exams for one of the two remaining days of classes this week or after spring break, which begins Friday.
One such instructor is Michael Faison, who is teaching Planets and Stars, or ASTR 110, a course with a midterm that was originally scheduled for Wednesday. Faison said the exam will now likely take place on Monday, March 26, depending on whether he is able to reserve the classroom for the afternoon.
“I think people should stay inside tomorrow and not trudge around campus through the snow and the wind, so I think cancelling classes is a good idea. I’m sure some students will appreciate having more time to study and others will have wanted to get it over with, and so I expect it will be a wash in terms of student preparation — and scores on the exam,” Faison said. “But maybe it will be helpful going into the next topics in the course if most students have done some studying over break and kept those topics fresh in their minds.”
Yale College Dean Marvin Chun said that while individual instructors will be the ones announcing rescheduling decisions, the Registrar’s Office will be “as helpful as possible.”
Bryce Crawford ’20, a student in “Real Analysis,” said the midterm that was originally rescheduled for Thursday, but will now be administered as a take-home exam due to scheduling conflicts. Some students might not have been able to attend an exam one day after the planned date, which could have required multiple make-up days to be organized.
“This may have an unbalanced effect on the test takers,” Crawford said. “I think everyone should have the same test-taking experience if possible to ensure fairness. Of course, this is within scheduling and time limitations.”
Ayla Khan ’21, whose “Moral Foundations of Politics” class was given the option of either taking the midterm as originally scheduled — during class time on Wednesday from 11:35 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. in Luce Hall — or after spring break, said she plans to take the midterm on Wednesday. Khan described the arrangement as an “ideal situation” because students who are prepared and do not want to study over break can sit for the exam on Wednesday, while those who find it “inconvenient to attend” can take it later.
Political Science professor Ian Shapiro, who instructs “Moral Foundations of Politics,” said that the students were given such a choice since the class “straddles the noon shutdown time.” He said he did not postpone the exam until after break for all students because many “are prepared to take it tomorrow and want to.”
“Why shouldn’t they because of 25 minutes?” he said. “It’s up to them.”
Niki Joshi ’21, a student in “Introductory Macroeconomics,” said that although she was initially “very upset” that the midterm for the class — which was originally scheduled for Wednesday but will now take place in the first week after break — was cancelled, she acknowledged the merits of the decision.
“I was very upset because I had set aside a lot of activities and work for other classes just to prepare for the midterm,” Joshi said. “This also meant that we would have to continue preparing for it over break. I then thought about it and realized that cancelling the midterm was the right thing to do since it was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and being outside in a storm in the dark is dangerous, especially since the storm tomorrow is going to worsen as the day progresses.”
In the 35 years between 1978 and 2013, Yale had no official snow days.
Anastasiia Posnova | firstname.lastname@example.org