Too cold for class but CUNY doesn't care
On Jan. 30, the polar vortex hit New York drastically. Under such temperatures, it would seem appropriate for New Yorkers to stay indoors rather than sacrifice their health during the intense commute to school or work. New York City officials declared a “code blue” alert for the dipping and brutal temperatures, according to The New York Times.
The temperature in Central Park was just over freezing at 2 degrees and below 17 degrees with a brutal wind chill, The New York Times reported. Even under such horrendous weather conditions, CUNY did not close schools. Instead, students had to attend classes.
This seems unreasonable, with temperatures hovering at “about 4 degrees in the Big Apple with a wind chill that made the air outside feel more like minus 20 degrees,” The New York Post wrote. In fact, emergency physician of Lenox Hill Dr. Robert Glatter told LiveScience that “at minus 30 F (minus 34 C), an otherwise healthy person who isn't properly dressed for the cold could experience hypothermia in as little as 10 minutes.”
The CUNY administration’s official website states, “The City University of New York, Office of Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management is committed to fostering a safe and healthy environment for the CUNY community and to reducing the University’s risks.”
Although CUNY administration claims that the health and safety of the students is its highest priority, that was obviously not the case during these cold weeks, during which students did not seem to be held in the administration's best interests.
Some professors at Baruch also expressed while teaching that there was no reason for classes during this brutal cold weather.
Thus, not only does CUNY administration show a disregard for the health of its students but also for the health of its faculty.
Not only is there a need for “snow days” — or days off due to weather inconvenience — but there is also a great need for the CUNY system to demonstrate exactly where its priorities stand.
The reason many schools do not take days off is because there is a scarcity of time to prepare for exams, which often leads to poor exam grades, according to EducationNext.
But ultimately, there is no excuse for potentially jeopardizing a student’s health when there is a countless amount of resources online that students can access on their own in order to complete their schoolwork.
A college student’s life and health are more important than perfect attendance and grades, but CUNY says otherwise.