On Feb. 17, Provost Linda Eisenmann stated via email that snowstorms had caused the college to cancel classes on two Mondays, a Tuesday and a Wednesday. She announced that a missed Monday would be rescheduled for afternoons of either Friday, March 20 or 27. Eisenmann wrote that since Wheaton does not have “built-in snow days like a high school,” creative solutions were needed to reschedule time.
As Eisenmann was traveling and unavailable for an interview, Assistant Provost James Mancall was questioned. He said that the main concern was that the snow days had caused us to miss several Monday classes, which is when some Senior Seminars meet. He stated, “We didn’t want any faculty member, class or student to feel disadvantaged because of the snow days. So this was a way of creating possibilities of making up that lost time.”
Students had mixed feelings about this, as they were eager to catch up on course work but also had to rearrange their schedules to attend these classes. Evania Thompson ’18 said, “I think it’s a good idea because we did lose a lot of time. It’s better that they do it this way then adding it on in the spring when everybody wants to be gone.”
Morgan Wilbur ’16 said, “I personally don’t think too much of them because I don’t think my classes are affected by them. Everyone is having a hard time because of the blizzards, everyone has to shuffle their schedules around and catch up a lot… It makes sense to want to do this kind of thing so classes can meet again.”
Other students expressed concerns about schedule conflicts. Emily Rand ’16 said, “I understand because of the weather…the only problem that I find with rescheduling them is that some people with off campus jobs or work study have Friday shifts because a lot of people don’t have classes then. People also go home on the weekends…I think it’s going to conflict with a lot of activities outside of the classrooms that students have to deal with.”
Mancall stated, “We recognized that no one solution would work for everyone ideally, so recognizing that, the Provost created a plan that afforded faculty some flexibility to do what works best for their class but also gives faculty and students enough advanced notice so that they can shift plans accordingly [in order] to minimize conflicts. I think that the Provost felt that if we gave students and faculty enough time to plan, it would minimize those [conflicts].”