On Monday, Penn State’s University Park campus canceled classes for the first time since 2007 for Superstorm Sandy — or as it has been so lovingly coined for its spooky timing, “Frankenstorm.”
Despite the fact that the storm was expected to get worse on Tuesday, campus re-opened in the morning.
OK so we were not hit very hard. And to be quite honest, I didn’t have even the slightest bit of trouble making my way to class in Tuesday’s drizzle.
But seriously, what’s up with University Park and the vehement refusal to cancel classes, even when faced with the threat of being slammed by a storm with no adequate modern comparison?
It’s not just this Sandy business, either.
I’ve trekked across our enormous, hilly campus in snow, sleet, ice and wind. I’ve fallen on my face in front of crowds who were too busy falling on their own faces to laugh at me.
I’ve arrived in class bruised, red-nosed and seriously annoyed about the fact that our administration would apparently rather have me limp around in the winter weather or bruise my tailbone, than sit at home for — God forbid — one school day.
What is there to gain by not canceling class?
Obviously we don’t have to be dramatic and cancel every time we see a flurry, but come on now.
When weather is inclement and borders on dangerous, the very little information that can be conveyed in one fifty-minute class period is genuinely not worth the bloodshed and bruise-fest that is the inevitable cost of getting to class in one of Happy Valley weather’s notorious fits of insanity.
Again, we were so lucky that Sandy didn’t hit us hard, but it was predicted to. We were meant to get winds of upwards of 40 miles per hour and heavy rains.
A lot of us were expected to lose power.
Yet on Monday night, while we all had our cell phones plugged into the walls and our flashlights out just in case, we got that infuriating text that told us we should report to class the next morning.
Despite the fact that I’m northern inlander completely spoiled by the rarity of hurricanes in my hometown, I was not surprised that Penn State decided to stay open even though the news was making this storm out to be the Armageddon.
After browsing tweets on Twitter and statuses on Facebook, I knew I wasn’t the only one.
It’s just a little ridiculous because there was no way of knowing how bad Sandy would be — or wouldn’t be — on Monday night.
And it was just such typical Penn State tomfoolery to insist upon opening anyway.
If we won’t close down for the threat of an enormous natural disaster, what will it take for us to close down? Four feet of snow? A Noah’s Ark style flood?
A literal siege by a troop of starved zombies?
I’m going to consider my college career a success if I manage to not get accidentally curb-stomped by a panicked freshman sliding around on the slippery tiles in front of Forum Building during a winter storm.
With all due respect to the people in charge of our university, I think they’re doing this all terribly wrong.
Maybe if they tried to sprint from Thomas Building to Chambers Building in 15 minutes during a treacherous ice storm, they’d be a little more sympathetic.
But until that day, “We are... open forever.”
Sarah Moesta is a junior majoring in English and is a Daily Collegian columnist. Email her at email@example.com