Senate Meeting 2/13/17: Formal Snow Day Policy Petition and Resolution

Last night, the Senate heard a presentation about the Formal Snow Day Policy [1] petition and unanimously passed a resolution in regards to the situation. The resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS the Rensselaer community received an email from the administration at 8:08 p.m. on Sunday, February 12, that stated, “The 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. classes are cancelled on the Troy Campus, and normal class schedule will begin at 12 noon on Monday;” and

WHEREAS the Rensselaer community received another email at approximately 7 a.m. on Monday, February 13, that stated, “On Monday, February 13, 2017, the Rensselaer Troy and Hartford campuses are open for business with normal class schedules on both campuses;” and

WHEREAS the Rensselaer Union 46th Student Senate passed a letter in March 2016 outlining areas of concern with respect to Rensselaer’s procedures on inclement weather, which included concerns about classes being cancelled and uncanceled within a single day; and

WHEREAS the Rensselaer community received a follow-up notice from RPIAlert at 10:05 a.m. on Monday, February 13, which confirmed that a previous notice had included an error and apologized for any inconvenience caused by that error; and

WHEREAS the cancellation impacted exams and assignment submission deadlines scheduled for the morning of Monday, February 13, especially as students adjusted their studying and work efforts accordingly after receiving the notice of cancellation; and

WHEREAS the student petition “Formal Snow Day Policy” received over 250 signatures in less than three hours of posting;

The Rensselaer Union 47th Student Senate hereby RESOLVES:

  1. To notify the administration of the concern within the student body following the conflicting notices about the cancellation of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. classes for Monday, February 13 an hour prior to the start of those classes,
  2. To recognize the importance of providing students a reasonable amount of time to prepare for their classes the following day or hold to the previous decision whether or not the decision was intentional,
  3. To advocate for a policy against reversals of the decision to cancel classes within 24 hours of the class’s start time, �
  4. To urge professors to show leniency to any students that missed assignments or examinations as a result of the unintended announcement, ensuring that the students are not overburdened to make up the missed academic material, and
  5. To recommend that the administration consider a modification of inclement weather proceedings to provide the Rensselaer community with more advance notice of any closures.

[1] https://petitions.union.rpi.edu/petitions/TuwWgrFhLqLGXot2z

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