LTE: A Response To The Delay

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.

 

Sincerely,

Frank DiMartino

A&S ’17

Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor

 

11 Comments

  1. Yeah sure, sure, it’s definitely dangerous to have class. But to the writer – you’re a sophomore, and you probably live on Lower or CoRo. Yeah all the offcampus kids are gonna have to wake up 5 minutes earlier to catch a 10:15 AM bus on semi-dangerous conditions but thanks dude for acknowledging in you LTE the fact that the facilities and dining hall employees have to sleep over in Maloney Hall and other random buildings on cots!! All to serve you. If you’re going to write about inconveniencing people, you’re forgetting a huge portion of people at Boston College.

  2. As a side note – students in the Connell School of Nursing were told tonight that we are expected to be at our clinical sites tomorrow at 7am as scheduled even though the T is not running. We were told that we would have to take a “taxi or an uber” in order to get to the hospitals on time. I think its completely absurd that you’re going to make us not only trek out in these conditions, but pay upwards of $70 to get out to clinical and come back? Please, BC – take a hike.

  3. If you are really THAT afraid for your safety that you would accuse the Jesuit who has dedicated his life to your education of not caring, you’d skip class tomorrow regardless of his decision.

    • I am. Not to rebel but because I cannot afford a 70 dollar bill from uber to get there with this surge pricing and the T being down.

      • If getting to class actually threatens your safety, cutting class is the prudent, not rebellious, thing to do.

        • And even though it’s because it’s not possible for me to come to class my prof is giving me a 0 for the quiz I miss instead of letting me make it up. I’m being punished, in a sense, for doing what our governor advises and for not being physically able to get there.

  4. I am disappointing that no revision to the decision to delay classes has been made (as of yet – although I am certain that it is too late to change the decision now). I personally believe that the adhesion to the delay rather than to switching to a total cancellation is due to the Monday-Thursday change. Due to that change, if school had been canceled today, we would have had no Tues-Thurs schedule classes this week. Given that that situation would have occurred due to a retrospective error on the part of the authorities switching Monday classes to Thursday, cancelling school today would have changed the intended ‘positive” effect of the switch to an even more “negative” outcome. As far as I am aware, all other schools in our area have have classes canceled as opposed to delays for the most part (and the rare exceptions are generally unconnected to the MBTA) and I see no reason as to how our situation is better enough than other’s to the degree that we only have a slight delay. As such, I do think the resistance to the complete cancilation is not due to a purely safety.travel-based evaluation of the situation as opposed to other things (such as the Thurs-Mon switch).

  5. First and foremost I would like to thank you Frank DiMartino for getting this letter published in Boston Colleges The Heights. Unfortunately, as we all know it was ignored. I would, although I am late, like to address this letter. It was incredibly inconsiderate of our school to hold classes when the Massachuttes Bay Transportation Authority suspended the function of all forms of public transportation. Although the numbers were few, some students that were commuters or off campus were really affected by this. I actually met someone who had to take an uber to class which costed upwards of forty dollars one way and eighty round trip. Paying this amount just to get to class for one day is absolutely absurd. Also as a freshman who lives on Newton Campus, we experienced buses running on a severely limited schedule. Huge crowds waited at the Stuart stop as everyone knew if they waited at the Newton campus main gate stop that they would never make it on. When a bus finally decided to show up, there was a crazy rush to get on the bus in which people were pushing through others to get on (and quite honestly they can’t be blamed as many of us were already late to class). Alas, one bus and not even two buses were enough to get everyone waiting to main campus (and even to this day the buses still are limited due to traffic and road conditions). When I was finally able to get to main campus thirty five minutes late for my first class, I was greeted with a slippery walk to class. It was absolutely irresponsible to hold classes that day as even at some point large amounts of snow fell off of buildings almost hitting students. The main point of this post is to encourage the writer of this letter to continue expressing his opinion as although it wasn’t heard this time, hopefully it will be in the future.

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