Petition for Snow Day gets Over 4,000 Signatures

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Petition for Snow Day gets Over 4,000 Signatures

A student looks at the snow day petition on their computer. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

A student looks at the snow day petition on their computer. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

A student looks at the snow day petition on their computer. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

A student looks at the snow day petition on their computer. (Julia Comerford/The Fordham Ram)

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By Helen Stevenson

With the nice weather lately, it is (almost) easy to forget that temperatures were in the single digits last week. In fact, as a result of this frigid weather, a petition to cancel class on Thursday, Jan. 31, gathered over 4,000 signatures.

“It’s going to be very cold tomorrow, making it difficult and unsafe for commuting students and commuting professors to make it to class; this weather will also affect administrators, Public Safety and other university employees and their ability to safely make it to campus and perform their jobs, exasperated by mass student movement,” the petition states. “Cancel class.”

The petition was released after the university cancelled all classes and events as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30 as a result of severe weather conditions. The petition’s intention was to extend the cancellations into the following day.

David Fretz, FCRH ’22, the mastermind behind the snow day petition, said that although it was cold, he actually created it because he did not want to go to class the next day.

“When I started the petition I hadn’t done any of my work for those classes and didn’t want to start doing it, so I was thinking, ‘why don’t I try, and get class cancelled instead?’ he said. “And apparently four thousand other people thought the same thing.”

Fretz found the popularity of this petition comical.

“At the beginning it was funny watching it reach fifty signatures, then a hundred, and as we kept telling people to pass the petition along it got funnier and funnier,” he said.

However, Fretz said he was not surprised that the petition got so many signatures as he expected students to fully support the idea of no classes.

“Looking back, it’s not crazy how many people signed it, but as we were watching it climb up and up from less than ten signatures to over three thousand by the end of the night, it was pretty surprising,” he said.

Of course, to the disappointment of Fretz and the 4,000 plus other signers, class continued according to schedule last Thursday.

Robert Howe, the university’s senior director of communications, said that the university is concerned about the health and safety of the students, faculty and staff. However, the weather last week did not warrant any further cancellations.

“The early closing on Wednesday was to allow members of the community who had to travel sufficient time to avoid the predicted whiteout conditions in the area, which, as you know, never materialized -we erred on the side of caution,” he said.

Howe said that the decision to continue classes as scheduled was on par with other educational institutions in New York City.

“The New York City public schools were open, as were most, if not all, colleges and universities in the city.”

Howe said that low temperatures are manageable and if any student has specific questions about cold weather health, they should contact the university health center on campus.

“As we reiterate in every severe weather alert, members of the university community should always take local conditions into account when traveling to or from campus,” he said.

Fretz, who is from the snowy city of Buffalo, New York, said although he was disappointed, he has never been surprised when classes are not cancelled for the weather.

“I wasn’t shocked when I woke up and had to go to class; it was a long shot that a petition would get anything to happen,” he said. “But I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed that morning to have to make the trek to FMH from the opposite end of campus in near zero degree weather.”