• Lillie Burke

OPINION: Students get the cold shoulder with winter weather procedures

Trapped in the icy mess this week, I spent most of the time curled up in bed at home with my Netflix account and Internet connection, which thankfully still worked.

As I wasted time on the Internet– like a normal college student–, it was hard not to notice on social media all the comments my fellow students had about the way Belmont handled the winter weather this week.

On Monday and Tuesday, Belmont canceled classes, which some students seemed happy about.

But on Wednesday, the demeanor changed as classes resumed despite freezing temperatures and a solid buildup of ice all over campus.

And then, the comments really started to roll in.

Tennessee was still in a state of emergency. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean urged residents to stay inside because of the cold temperatures.

And students questioned whether the university cared about the safety of its students.

Students had the right to voice their complaints, and I understand where they are coming from.

My biggest complaint about the situation this week, though, is about Belmont’s decision to wait so late to announce closures or the lack thereof.

I would have preferred Belmont had erred on the side of caution instead of “closely monitoring the forecasts.”

With more than inch of ice everywhere the night before, a few hours didn’t make any difference in terms of any improvement in conditions.

No matter what, it still would have been difficult for commuters to make the trek to campus. Some commuters weren’t even able to get out of their houses until Thursday morning and a few still could not get out today.

Looking back, the situation could have been handled better. I don’t know why it took so long to get salt down around the area and try to help alleviate the mess.

Salt should have been placed on the roads starting Sunday morning; instead Belmont waited to see how much ice and snow could accumulate on campus.

Even today, it’s still ridiculous that Two Oaks and Thrailkill area still has ice problems, which makes for terrible walking conditions to the garage where I and several others have to park.

Despite the issues, I am thankful for the workers in facility management systems, the dining and residential staffs who all worked hard to make the situation a little better. It hasn’t been an easy week for them, either.

Maybe Belmont has learned something from this week by sending people home early this afternoon.

But as far as this first system goes, I hope the university doesn’t have to go through a repeat of it again during the winter, or if we do, I hope that the issues of the past will influence the decisions of the future.

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