Ice, delay in schedule cause confusion among students

Students trek across ice-covered sidewalks Monday morning.

Students trek across ice-covered sidewalks Monday morning. Photo by Lexy Gross / The News.

As ice covered the ground in Murray Sunday night, students waited to see if class would be canceled Monday morning.

Instead, many students claim they received mixed signals and mulled over confusing plans to deal with Sunday night’s inclement weather.

Maddie Pleimann, senior from Waterloo, Ill., said she noticed that Murray State’s informational platforms weren’t all on the same page Monday morning.

“I woke up at 6 a.m. to two text messages: one saying campus was closed and one saying that we were on a delayed schedule,” Pleimann said.

Pleimann checked Twitter and found that Murray State platforms said the campus would be on a delayed schedule ¬– but the website still said campus was closed.

“It wasn’t until after 7 a.m. that I checked again and it said that campus will be on the delayed schedule,” she said. “If I didn’t check Twitter, I would’ve gotten the two text message and checked the website, assumed classes were cancelled, turned off my alarms and missed classes.”

The two-hour class delay schedule was posted on Murray State’s website, giving normal class times and the new times with the delay. Campus didn’t open until 10 a.m. Monday morning.

Interim President Tim Miller said Facilities Management made a recommendation to a committee charged with deciding whether or not campus would close Monday morning. The committee then passed their recommendation to the vice presidents, who sent their recommendation to Miller.

Miller said the inclement weather plan has been in its final planning steps up until Saturday, when it was posted on the website.

He said since the policy is so new, it will be revisited and examined for issues and kinks. Student opinions are important to the process, Miller said, and he wants to examine the schedule with them in mind.

“In the mean time, I want to apologize to any students adversely affected by this and I want them to feel sure the faculty will work with them,” Miller said.

Pleimann wasn’t the only student who faced problems Monday morning because of inclement weather in the region.

Rebekah Dial, senior from Murray, commutes to campus every day. When she left her house Monday morning, she fell on the way to her car.

“Yes, I know commuters come at their own risk,” Dial said on The News’ Facebook page. “But what about the teachers who say we are required to attend every single class? That if we miss any class meetings points are deducted from our final grade?”

Paula Amols, director of Dining Services, said the Thoroughbred Room had limited services due to a staff shortage and the delay on campus. Both the hot food line and part of the salad line were closed.

“A lot of our staff didn’t make it in today and those that did were later than usual getting in because of the delay and problems getting to campus,” Amols said. “In order to get the hot line open, we have to start cooking early. The delivery truck was three hours late so some of our supplies were low.”

Catherine Sivills, the assistant vice president for communications, said Bill Nye will still speak at the CFSB Center at 8 p.m. Sivills also noted that the text sent out to students came from public safety and communications will be looked at as well.

SGA President Jeremiah Johnson is taking comments and complaints from students on the inclement weather schedule and the University’s decision to avoid closing campus. Johnson said those comments can be sent to MSU.sgapresident@murraystate.edu.

Jessica Cummins, senior from Lexington, Ky., said in theory, the inclement weather plan is ideal.

“But where it stops being viable is when they don’t take into account that we are adults as well as students,” Cummins said on Facebook. “Many other aspects of people’s lives will not go on delay with campus.

“Overall I’m disappointed, but can’t say I’m surprised. Inclement weather is usually a no-win for schools.”

A spokesperson at the Murray Police Department said Monday afternoon that there were two non-injury automobile accidents that day.

Story by Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief.