Editorial

Syracuse University officials prioritize student safety by canceling class

University officials were wise in their decision to cancel classes for Monday afternoon and all of Tuesday because of Hurricane-turned Superstorm Sandy.

The move acts as a precautionary measure for all Syracuse University students, staff and faculty. For some students, this is their first experience with a storm this severe, and they may not have prepared adequately during the weekend. Canceling classes gives students, faculty and staff time to go to grocery stores and stock up on essentials.

Being prepared will help ease student anxiety when the strongest part of the superstorm hits Syracuse. Some students may take advantage of the days off to get drunk, but others are legitimately worried and are using the time wisely to prepare.

Some professors live as far as an hour away. Canceling classes early means these professors can get home safely. It also means students who live on campus but reside nearby can take the time to travel home and be with their families before the worst of the storm comes.

The city of Syracuse can handle huge snowstorms, but it is not generally equipped to handle superstorms. Officials know how to prepare when snow is coming and are quick to clean up after a snowstorm to continue regular activity. But a superstorm is completely different.

Superstorms are more likely to knock out power and cause trees to come down. Windows could also break and basement flooding is a bigger threat. By canceling classes, university officials give students and community members more time to straighten out problems before classes begin again.

But the cancellation of classes does pose complications for students and professors, though. Professors must communicate with students about their expectations for turning in assignments and about moving dates for exams and other assignments.

Professors also must remember students could lose power in their residence halls or apartments and may not be able to complete assignments on time. On-campus resources, such as computer labs and E.S. Bird Library, are closing down for the storm, which takes away resources students use to complete assignments.

Though it is too early at press time to see the damage the storm will cause the community, taking precautionary measures and keeping the community as safe as possible will always be a respectable decision.

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