Conventional wisdom says that locales in which snowfall is normal and frequent are well-equipped to handle the inclement conditions. Syracuse is still a functioning city under a foot or more, but all hell breaks loose when Raleigh gets a dusting. We get it.

But for a place that gets its fair share of snow, Binghamton University has seemingly no idea what to do when the flakes start falling.

Last week’s debacle shed some light on the University’s inability to keep its students and staff safe and informed during a snowstorm.

Binghamton was blanketed when we awoke last Tuesday morning, but our SMS inboxes were still barren, with no Rave Alerts in sight.

Classes were still on, obliging students and faculty to come to campus. This was going to be a problem though, as OCCT was experiencing some serious delays — 10 to 15 minutes according to their Twitter feed, but according to the accounts of some students, a lot longer than that.

Grade schools follow a simple procedure. If the buses can’t get out and transport the students to school safely and timely, class is cancelled. Though not everyone here relies on the blue bus, surely a good bulk of the student body could not make it to campus in a safe, timely fashion.

And it’s not OCCT’s fault that their buses weren’t running on time. Sometimes, the roads just aren’t plowed properly. So be it. They were driving as safely and efficiently as possible.

But there must have been some damaging miscommunication between OCCT and BU’s administration. Surely if both parties were in communication with each other, at least one of the organizations would have pushed for a cancellation of classes.

It never came.

As cars were sloshing around and people were slipping and sliding down the Skyway Trail, we all questioned why the University didn’t cancel classes. It wasn’t necessarily an issue of a disgruntled, lazy student body angry at having to attend class, but a serious concern we had with our own safety.

Some professors took the proper initiative and canceled classes on their own. But it shouldn’t take a guy with a Ph.D. to see the mess that persisted outside our windows last Tuesday.

The snow eventually let up and our Rave Alert finally came, though it didn’t alleviate the danger we put ourselves in as a result of our administration’s ineptitude. It was informing us that “day classes” for the next day would be canceled, in anticipation of that night’s snowfall.

As if the snow itself wasn’t stressful enough, the ambiguous message left the whole University wondering what constituted a “day class” and when they would have to brave the snow and attend class again.

This hasty cancellation seemed nothing more than the University’s attempt to retroactively cover its own ass for dropping the ball throughout the entire day. But we weren’t going to complain. It seemed that they finally got something right.

And as these things go, we awoke Wednesday morning to find no snow in the air and no more snow on the ground than when we went to sleep. Roads were plowed, conditions were fairly safe and classes were off.


I’m in no place to complain about days off from school, but something was inherently wrong with the way the University handled the snowstorms that did and didn’t happen.

Weather is a fickle bitch and apparently, so too is our administration.