University of Guelph-Humber Assistant Vice-Provost George Bragues said the key factor in cancelling classes is whether there is a safety concern in having people come to campus on days with freezing or icy conditions and days with a substantial amount of snow.
As well, he explained that there is no minimum snowfall that leads to a decision to cancel classes. Instead, they keep an eye on the forecast and stay consistent with what the other colleges and universities decide to that day.
Although an inconvenience to those who are coming to learn and teach, these cancellations are preventative actions that need to be taken.
“In the past, we’ve never gotten complaints about a decision to close,” Bragues said. “The major concern is not the kind of decision being made but rather when […] the people want to know as soon as possible.”
Some students from Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber agreed that workflow generally stalls when not at school and for some it is a bit harder to keep up with the semester.
“I don’t do as much as if I was actually at school,” said Francesca Mazzuca, a first-year Early Childhood Education student at Humber College. “If I don’t end up having any assignments or homework to do that day, I will usually just take the day off to relax.”
“Most definitely, I find myself to be more unmotivated when I’m at home and tend to fall behind on that one chapter because I wasn’t able to do it in class,” said Kaela Johnson, a second-year Media Studies student. “I’ve only had a snow day once and we finished class early because of the inconvenience it would be to get home through all the snow.”
“When I go to school, I get a lot more work done and have the support from the services and professors I have access to,” said Dilshan Jayasinghe, a third-year Business student.
Some students also said that having the professor’s assistance and guidance for certain aspects of the course work are essential.
“Especially for hands-on courses, it’s very crucial to have that in-class time and missing a class can leave you really behind,” said second-year Media Studies student Abigail Toledo.
Bragues said even professors have to deal with things such as rearranging the syllabus and changing when certain quizzes or evaluations will be completed.
“As a professor, cancelling classes due to inclement weather is a disruption, that’s for sure.” Bragues said. “It becomes much more of a problem when you have a test or significant evaluation […] it will affect potentially what you can put on a test. The material that is missed would potentially have to go in evaluations in the second half of the term.”
The Humber North community has been able to avoid class cancellations due to snow, freezing rain or ice up until Feb. 6, 2018 for this school year.