Snow day Snow day SNOW DAY – Some Issues and Benefits to Engineering Students

Benjamin Beelen - VP Academic
Posted on: February 20, 2019

February 6th and 12th have both had University closures and let us talk about what that means! First off, the class time is going to have to be made up. As engineering students, we have to see a strict number of hours from P Eng professors and for a course to count for its “accreditation units” it also needs to have a certain number of hours. You can bet that this time is going to be made up, at least officially made up, before the end of the term as there is a CEAB (Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board) visit this fall. To learn more about CEAB, come to Council meeting number 4 where Christine Moresoli will be visiting to talk about accreditation and answer questions on what we as students have to do.

Back to snow days, they are wonderful at the time of, but they lead to a lot of other administrative challenges as well, especially at Waterloo. All interviews, meetings, and services are also cancelled. Now, these do seem like a small hurdle, but CECA is already dealing with so many interviews per day that their personal offices are being used for interviews during the day. On top of that, while we are all enjoying the snow day, people from CECA are trying their best to reschedule a possible 1000 interviews with hundreds of employers. We are at the peak of first-round interviews, and the clock is ticking for that March 1st ranking date.

Now services, health services are operating on skeleton staff, and as far as I could find online, counselling and other mental health services are also closed or on skeleton staff. That means if you’re waiting for weeks to get in to see a counsellor, that just got moved to an unknown time. I don’t have good solutions to this problem, other than phoning in, but there is a reason I’m saying all these bad things about snow days.

This explains why the university has in the past resisted snow days or closures even when neighbouring Universities have been closed (such as the Laurier terrorist threat incident). It is hard enough for schools to reschedule classes to make up time, but the interview weight of the Co-op school that is Waterloo adds another significant challenge. At the end of the day, snow days are very expensive for the school.

Does this mean the school doesn’t care for the safety of their staff and students? Of course not. The university has shown that when the weather is truly awful, they will close. But if you’re looking for reasons on when the university remains open during rough weather, read the above.

On a personal note, I’ve managed to hit the snow day lottery and had interviews scheduled on both snow days. Also just those two days I’ve missed 11.5 hours of class. Though this is a pain in the behind, I enjoyed the hell out of my snow days! There is something about studying, and playing CIV 6 all day that feels good ya know?

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