Not enough notice given in class cancelations

Jake Tapley

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A few weeks back, I wrote an opinion on USI Rave. I praised it for being a helpful and timely tool.

Maybe I spoke a bit too soon.

Of course, I still appreciate the service. Its existence alone means a lot to me as a student at this university. However, the application of the service has caused some inconvenience.

On Feb. 4, I was involved in a colossal traffic jam in the USI parking lot.

This, of course, was spurred by campus abruptly closing at 3 p.m. I was sitting in the Business and Engineering Center waiting for my next class when I received the call.

And the text. And the email. All of which I would have looked upon favorably had it not already been 2:47 p.m. when I began to receive them.

Thirteen minutes. That’s how much notice was given.

Now, for me, it didn’t really change anything.

I had an early afternoon class that day, so I was already on campus before the “wintry mix” began to fall. It only amounted to making me waste a small fraction of my time and walk a few minutes across campus – neither of which I cared about too deeply.

But I thought of the students walking from their dorms and apartments. I thought of how this inconvenienced them in a bigger way.

I thought of the commuter students who had traveled maybe five minutes or maybe 30 minutes across town to go to class despite the weather, only to receive notice upon their arrival (or near arrival) that campus was indeed closing.

At this point, the Rave system was no longer providing the service that it was intended to provide. It was instead putting people at risk by delaying the delivery of the decision to close campus.

If the roads were getting too bad to continue the day, they had likely already been getting that way well prior to 3 p.m.

And to top it off, many students (myself included) got to participate in stand-still traffic for a good half an hour or more. And that was before we even left campus.

Word to the wise: We’ve got a good thing. Let’s put it to good use.

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