Snow day struggles

Parents Tiffany and Jake Der take their three children Katie, 3, and one year old twins Madeline and Emily sledding in the fresh snow Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

Parents Tiffany and Jake Der take their three children Katie, 3, and one year old twins Madeline and Emily sledding in the fresh snow Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

Marissa Barnhart

Sophomore fashion design major Elizabeth Henrich was excited yet disappointed after finding out her morning class was canceled Tuesday.

Although she was happy to sleep more, Henrich said the lost time could have been useful because she is working on a project that requires feedback from a professor.

“My teacher doesn’t change the syllabus based on snow days,” Henrich said of her drawing class. “The feedback helps us improve our grades. We use it to improve our projects. If we don’t have it, we won’t have very high grades.”

Kent State and its regional campuses had multiple closings due to inclement weather Feb. 18 and has closed school for a total of 2.5 days this year.

Eric Mansfield, executive director of media relations, said individual colleges determine how students make up lost class time. He also said the university’s administration is glad that the cancellations happened early in the semester so it gives students and professors time to make up class work.

“There are enough weeks remaining in the semester that students and professors have time to catch up on material,” Mansfield said.

Laura Roch, sophomore human development and family studies major, said she spent her time out of the classroom catching up on homework. She also said she is not bothered at all by missing class.

“I love being off school,” Roch said. “It’s a much-needed break to destress and relax.”

Freshman pre-nursing major Mariah Houser said she is sometimes excited when classes are canceled, but she feels she is missing out on time to review for exams.

“When it’s the day before a big test, we miss out on the review time,” Houser said. “I feel like because I paid for the class, I wish I would have gotten the full worth.”

While some students feel they miss out on class time, Anastasia Tietz, sophomore visual communication design major, said she is still required to work outside the classroom.

“My teachers still expect me to get projects done,” Tietz said. “We had a project due over the course of two weeks. Since we had two classes canceled, the project is now due in two days.”

Tietz said that while it is sometimes difficult because she can’t ask questions, she has little difficulty catching up.


A student walks crosses the Esplanade along Summit Street at sunset, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. By evening, sidewalks had been cleared, as opposed to morning when sidewalks were buried under the 5 inches of snow Kent received in 24 hours. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Tyler Lawrence, sophomore zoology major, also said he has little trouble making up for lost time in his classes, especially in his chemistry classes.

“The science teachers usually just chop off the end of the semester and test us on what we were able to cover,” Lawrence said.

He also said that whatever material isn’t covered in a lower level class is typically picked up in the next course because professors have consulted on what material was covered.

“It isn’t really a bother,” Lawrence said.

Senior integrated science major Dakota Stephens said the missed material is still covered in his classes.

“I just deal with it,” Stephens said. “We still get the stuff covered.”

Susan Stocker, dean at Kent State Ashtabula Campus, said the campus tries to think about the amount of commuters driving to school. When the weather is bad, Ashtabula leaves it up to the student to come to campus.

“At Ashtabula, it’s like, ‘Welcome to northeast Ohio,’” Stocker said. “Our students are adults and have to deal with what they’re dealt with.”

The Ashtabula campus has canceled classes all three times this semester. Stocker said Ashtabula typically follows university policy when it comes to canceling classes.

“We try not to cancel unless it’s a safety issue such as low visibility or ice,” Stocker said.

While high schools in Ohio have calamity days, or days designated for the chance of cancellation, Kent State does not have a university equivalent.

“Nothing we do is like public schools, K through 12,” Stocker said. “We don’t make up days or time missed; It’s up to the instructor to do that.”

Contact Marissa Barnhart at [email protected].