Students criticize UConn for opening during storm


STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Another snowstorm, another round of complaints from UConn students who claim the school has once again dropped the ball. They say the parking lots were a snow-covered disaster as flakes fell most of the day. Many UConn students say classes should have been cancelled.

“The roads are awful,” said UConn sophomore Alex Lentz. “You shouldn’t have to risk your life to get an education.”

“You feel like it’s really dangerous out here and that it’s not really worth risking it to go to class,” said UConn student Laura Cyr.

“When you have this many people who live off-campus and commuting, I think they probably should have closed school,” said junior Brian Higgins.

A UConn spokesperson says they monitor the forecast and believed they could keep up with the weather. They also pointed out three-quarters of their students live in dorms.

“Some classes are only on Mondays, so if they cancel too many of them then they might have to cancel that class,” said Cyr.

“They keep canceling Monday classes and it’s really rough, but I honestly don’t think there should have been class,” said Lentz.

The spokesperson says if they aren’t comfortable getting to class, faculty must accommodate them. Also, employees can take their banked time without the need to ask in advance.

“Do you feel unsafe walking around?” we asked Higgins.

“Not walking around as much, but I can see, I can imagine how you would feel unsafe driving today,” he said.

“The back roads are still really, really bad, and obviously the parking is kind of awful,” said Cyr.

The spokesperson says while the snow is frustrating, they’re no different than other universities in the state. She says Quinnipiac, Wesleyan, Trinity, and Yale also had class after a delay.

FULL STATEMENT FROM UCONN REGARDING THE SCHOOL’S DECISION TO STAY OPEN:

“While these storms are frustrating for all of us, these situations unfortunately are part of the landscape for a university in the Northeast in winter. UConn is no different today than many other universities that are open today after a delay, including Quinnipiac, Wesleyan, Yale, Trinity and many others also are open.

“Like other universities, UConn makes its decisions based on monitoring forecasts and assessing our work crews’ ability to clear snow to a safe degree. Storrs is also a highly residential campus (more than three-quarters of students live in the dorms), so it’s largely a walking campus for them rather than posing a driving issue.

“That being said, though, we recognize that employees and many students still drive to the campuses. We regularly remind them — as recently as last night, in fact — that they can decide against traveling to campus if they aren’t comfortable, and that faculty must accommodate those students and employees can take their banked time without the need to ask in advance.”

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