Dear Rev. William Leahy, S.J.,
Let me first begin this letter by stating that I do not want another snow day tomorrow, I do not want to miss more class time, and I certainly don’t need more excuses to sleep in past noon. However, I am ashamed and astonished by the recent notification that Boston College will be operating under a two-and-a-half-hour delay tomorrow morning, with all classes beginning at 10:30am. While I am sure that you and our students are already well aware about the closings of MIT, Harvard, BU, Northeastern, and Emerson, I feel it is important to reiterate that the decision of the BC Administration stands in stark contrast to that of our fellow Boston schools.
Furthermore, the MBTA has suspended service tomorrow, forcing faculty and students who commute to BC to seek alternate forms of transportation, which will surely be hindered by the significant reduction in available parking on campus announced earlier today. Additionally, Governor Charlie Baker has maintained the State of Emergency status for our area and strongly urged non-essential workers to remain home and off the roads on Tuesday due to the poor road conditions. Nonetheless, BC will be open for the vast majority of the day tomorrow.
My question to you is, why? I understand that we have already missed significant class time this semester due to the unprecedented snowfall over the past two weeks, but there is a reason we are still in a state of emergency and so many other schools have closed down for tomorrow: IT IS NOT SAFE TO HOLD CLASS TOMORROW. I can tell you from personal experience (several in fact), that there is a large amount of black ice beneath the snow, especially on surfaces that have already been plowed. I am incredibly concerned that the safety of students, faculty, and workers at BC has not been adequately taken into account by the decision of the administration.
Though the sidewalks outside of Gasson may have been plowed and salted 20 times by now, you cannot control the conditions outside of our campus. Students living off campus face hazardous conditions commuting to class tomorrow, faculty living in surrounding towns face hazardous conditions commuting to BC tomorrow, students on upper (a mere five minute walk from Stokes) face hazardous conditions commuting to class tomorrow. President Leahy, it is simply not safe to hold classes tomorrow. Given the conditions outside, I am confident that a 10:30 a.m. start essentially does little to make campus safer.
To be perfectly honest with you, I feel that your decision to operate under a delay is more a political move, and I find myself asking, do you really care about my safety? If you cared about my safety and the safety of my fellow classmates, professors, and workers, you would have closed BC, but you didn’t. What good does a 10:30 a.m. start do? If you couldn’t improve campus conditions adequately within 48 hours, what makes you think that an extra two hours tomorrow morning is going to make a significant difference? I hope that you will consider what I have said, and contemplate deeply the cost-benefit of holding class tomorrow. I have come to hate snow days at this point, but I hate the feeling that my safety is being compromised even more. Please reconsider your decision; I know I am not alone in my thoughts and in my emotions.
Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor