Universities need to be considerate of their commuter students when it comes to bad weather.
Imagine this: you wake up, and it's snowing and sleeting. You check your school's website, nothing. No announcements. So you clear off your car in the messy winter weather. You drive an hour to school, barely avoiding accidents.
You show up to school and check your phone. Classes are canceled. Now you have to drive an hour back home, the snow thickens, and the roads are more hazardous.
Or once again, you wake up with snow blanketing the ground and thick ice everywhere. You can barely get out of your community. You drive that hour to school. Have to park a mile away from classes, and slip several times on the unsalted sidewalks.
Unfortunately, every commuter at Towson has been through this. Most commuters in states where it snows have gone through this.
On top of that, Towson has no official policy regarding absences due to weather.
Going to class is important, I know that. But should I risk my safety? Should I risk my car and my insurance going up several hundred dollars?
The university expects us to. Some professors are more understanding than others, while some do not understand at all. Professors should not make a student feel as if they need to risk their safety just to make it to class to discuss a chapter. They shouldn't make a student risk their safety to sit in a lecture hall when the only thing they get to contribute is their name on the attendance sheet.
For the students who stay on campus, they don't have to drive to class. They don't have to worry about crashes, pile-ups, and delays.
Colleges also don't consider the amount of time is spent on the road. The chances for accidents, especially for students who live out of town or county, are all irrelevant to them.
Commuters may spend hours a day going back and forth to school. With bad weather, it would take way more time. We all know people somehow become crazy as soon as a snowflake touches the ground, and they drive twenty miles under the speed limit. Crashes are inevitable, and same thing with sliding on ice or not being able to see.
Universities should have policies in place that not only protects the physical safety of commuter students, but their attendance grade as well.
So as the possibility of winter weather looms in our weekly forecast, I hope that everyone stays safe, even if university systems don't care if we do.