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Students, Bachand talk snow days, longer semester

Students got the opportunity to ask President Don Bachand questions at the President’s Forum held in the Unity Room at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Bachand began the forum by asking students how they felt about having a full week of classes.

This led to several students voicing concerns over the school year being extended.

Bachand had no easy answer.

“The situation is very complicated,” he said. “It takes time to figure out where people are in their classes. There are a lot of moving parts to consider.”

Students wondered if the class time missed would have to be made up over spring break or during exam week.

Bachand admitted that even if exams were to be pushed back, it would not affect the spring semester or graduation ceremonies.

“It’s not uncommon for students walking in May to still have spring and summer classes,” said J.J. Boehm, the director of Media and Community Relations.

It was also discussed how class time would have to be considered on a course-by-course basis.

“There are hundreds of conversations going on to make sure everyone gets done what they need to get done,” Bachand said. “There isn’t one single solution that will work for everyone.”

Conversation next went to the havoc the cold weather wreaked on the Campus Facilities, specifically burst pipes and icy sidewalks.

“If there are spots that are bad, call campus facilities,” Boehm said. “We’ll work to adjust the schedule to try to get to it as soon as possible.”

Bachand assured students that logs are kept so Campus Facilities knows where the problem areas are. He said the covered golf carts often seen around campus are making rounds to spot-check such areas.

Students also voiced concerns about the state of the residential parking lots.

They said that after heavy snowfalls, the plows pile up snow behind residents’ cars, making it difficult to get in and out of parking spots.

Students were also curious about the university’s policies for delays.

“If we know a storm is coming, the conversation starts the night before,” Bachand said. “We then make another judgment in the morning, if necessary.”

Bachand talked about how delays and closings are taken very seriously.

“We can’t open if the parking lots and sidewalks can’t be cleared,” he said. “It comes down to getting students here safe. … We talk to other schools and the regional road commissions before making decisions.”

Bachand and students then discussed the differences in traffic abroad, leading to a thinly veiled reference to the presumed road rage incident at Pierce and Bay roads on Sunday, Feb. 17.

The forum concluded with a discussion about Friday’s Cardinal Ball.

Reported by Hannah Beach, Vanguard A&E Editor

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