Picture yourself in this situation: you've got a 9:30 a.m. class. You roll out of bed at about 9, debate a three-minute shower, decide against it, throw on some sweats, and maybe wolf down a bowl of cereal. You trudge to class - a journey that takes, if you have the distinct pleasure of living on Southside or off-campus, up to 15 minutes. You stumble up to the classroom door, eyes still half-closed from weariness, and what do you see? A sign announcing that your class is cancelled. You mutter a series of curses under your breath and stomp back to a bed that should never have been vacated to begin with.
But a simple inconvenience isn't where a class cancellation ends. During an average semester, off-campus students sometimes must brave dangerous weather to get to class. A car accident and needless bills are the last thing a student needs. Scaling back the severity a bit, the off-campus commuter also worries about the gas that his or her respective car guzzles. A worthless trip to school adds up over the course of a Geneseo career-much to the joy of the local gas stations.
It may not be the most horrendous situation a Geneseo student might encounter, but it is one that consistently inconveniences students by forcing them to make trips across campus to classes, the cancellation of which they could easily have been informed about if professors were mandated to inform students by e-mail.
Many professors do take the time to do students the courtesy of sending out e-mails to inform them when classes will be cancelled, but unfortunately, many do not. Undoubtedly, there should be a policy in place in which professors are required to notify their students of unexpected cancellations to the extent they are able. If a professor is not in a position in which they are capable of doing this, department secretaries should be contacted to complete the task. Signs on doors announcing cancellations get the job done, but many professors do not appreciate what a huge inconvenience a fruitless trudge across campus can be, especially when students live far away from the classroom.
While certainly there may be instances of very early classes when department secretaries may have not yet reported to work, and little likelihood of students checking their e-mail prior to an early class, the vast majority of wasted time walking across campus, often through adverse weather conditions, can be easily avoided if such a policy were put into place. Mandating that as many class cancellation announcements as possible be sent through e-mail will cut down on what is, for many, an immense annoyance.
Students, who are often faced with hectic schedules as it is, will be better able to plan their time, or to get much-needed rest. We deserve this courtesy from all professors, and if it takes a school-wide policy to get it, then so be it.