Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Further adventures in snow days

That newspaper with "Detroit" in the nameplate has ventured out to another research university -- the one in sorta-nearby Ann Arbor -- where the students were complaining about having stayed open on Monday. This time (above) it took the resource-heavy step of sending a photographer, no doubt evoking twinges of emotion among the many U-M escapees in the reading audience.

With bitter cold bearing down on Michigan, the state's public universities hit pause on the school year, canceling classes and operations for at least Wednesday.

Canceling classes is a rare step for colleges and universities, which, unlike K-12 school systems, still have students on campus in dorm rooms needing food and other services, even when classes are called off.

At the University of Michigan, classes are canceled for both Wednesday and Thursday, officials said. It's the third time in 40 years U-M Ann Arbor has canceed* classes. The last was Feb. 2, 2015.

To be fair, now, much of the state, including a number of public universities, did close on Monday. Fairly heavy snow began in late morning, more or less on schedule, and after a brief not-quite-respite on Tuesday, the really cold air was expected for Wednesday and Thursday. (We're at -1F at 3 p.m. Wednesday, which is at least above the predicted high for the day.) The question of interest here is what you have to do -- or whose students you have to be -- to get the attention of the state's largest remaining newspaper:

The move came as more than 12,000 people signed a petition started Monday evening calling for classes to be canceed.**

What about those other universities you spoke of?

... U-M had stayed open during the snowstorm Monday, as did Michigan State University.

MSU also canceled classes for Wednesday. It was the seventh time in school history classes had been canceled. 

Yes, yes, but what about those lesser institutions -- say, the one in midtown Detroit that boasts the largest single-campus med school in the country?

All other Michigan public universities — including Wayne State, Eastern Michigan and Oakland universities — also canceled classes for Wednesday.

Sigh. So if you study or work at the Big Research University that's actually in the same city the newspaper claims as its own, you can find out about your Wednesday schedule if you hang on for the last paragraph.

Of course, you probably already knew about the closing; indeed, unless you went to bed before 8 on Tuesday, you probably knew that Wayne State had declared it would close Thursday as well. That's not the sort of information people get from daily newspapers anymore. But it would be a sign that the local paper pays attention to the interests of its local audience -- even the ones who don't breathe a nostalgic sigh at the sight of the Ann Arbor campus in snow.

* Alas, (sic) -- another case of a typo that appears online but not in print.
** Ibid, or something. It really does help to look at the stuff before you publish it online, too.


Post a Comment

<< Home