The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Students react to (lack of) snow days

UNK’s campus covered in snow.

Icy roads, sidewalks are safety concern for all students say

BY: Jose Perez

On Feb. 20 of this year, another snow storm took place across the state of Nebraska. As a result, most schools across the state made the decision to close their institute for the day due to the harsh conditions that followed However, UNK was one of the few schools in Nebraska that didn’t close down for the day, leaving many of its students in disbelief. 

It didn’t take long before UNK students turned to social media, expressing their frustration as to why the school would be open rather than closing like the other schools around them.

Last week, a story published by Hanna Hake on The Antelope explained the procedures UNK does when deciding to close their school. Many factors have to be taken into consideration before making this drastic call. At the end of the day, UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen always makes the final decision. 

A significant number of people, even outside of UNK, questioned the university’s decision to remain open. Although the decision was made in the best interest of UNK, some students felt that the school should have been closed.

Getting to class in an orderly fashion is not an easy task when a UNK student doesn’t live on campus. Odwuar Quiñonez, a UNK senior from Lexington, still recalls the many difficulties he faced when he realized he still had to go to school on that Wednesday. 

“It was disappointing that UNK didn’t cancel classes. Even though the weather wasn’t bad, the roads in Kearney were pretty bad,” Quiñonez said. “I almost got into a car accident just driving to class. Thank God I made it to campus in one piece, but I was still frustrated.”

Depending on the vehicle, students that commute to campus can arrive to UNK with ease. Walking on campus, however, is a different story. 

Ashton Kirwan, a sophomore majoring in Health Science from Holdrege, faced a difficult task when she left her car and tried to walk to class on that Wednesday morning. 

“It was so hard when I walked to my 8 am class at West Center” Kirwin said. “The sidewalks should have been completely cleared before UNK decided to stay open. It’s a safety concern when everything on the ground was too slick, especially the grass. Not all professors consider weather as an ‘excused’ absence which can affect our final grade.”

The same article posted in The Antelope last week quoted Jon Watts, Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance, as saying “the number one priority is to be open [at UNK].” 

Kirwan and Quiñonez both disagree with this statement, claiming that the number one priority for UNK is the safety of the students and all faculty and staff members. 

“Some organization on campus should really send out a survey to all UNK Students and Faculty members” Quiñonez said. “That way UNK as a whole can vote to keep the school open or closed when the weather is severe.” 

“I understand that UNK can’t just close all the time when it snows, but no harm would have been done if other schools especially in Kearney were doing the same thing” Kirwan said. “The least UNK could have done is have a late start for classes, that way the custodians had enough time to clean the snow and ice off of UNK.”

In a way, the voices of UNK were heard and campus did close down on Feb. 23 and 24. This frustrated individuals even more since the days cancelled were a Saturday and Sunday. 

“I was surprised UNK closed on the weekend” Quiñonez said. “No one really does anything on campus that day. It should have happened during the weekdays when students actually have class.”

“I’m not even on campus on weekends. Most students either work or go home when there’s no class” Kirwan said.  “It makes sense why so many people were confused on the decision.”

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (1)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • F

    F GledhillMar 12, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    As a parent who pays the tuition of my student, a hefty one at that. I was infuriated at the decision. The windchill factor was absolutely dangerous and I had video from my student showing me the conditions of the sidewalks. UNK should be ashamed at their lack of concern for their student’s well being. I sent my student here because I thought they would be in a safe environment, but their lack of concern is proving that thought wrong. Shame on you UNK!!