Unpredictable weather is no stranger to the Georgia Southern University community, but the closing of the university due to expected freezing rain and snow came as a surprise to students and professors.
On Jan. 27, the university issued the first of two winter storm warnings. Eagle alerts warned students, faculty and staff to stay indoors due to icy roads and power outages, but despite all the warnings snow never hit Statesboro.
Library assistant Dana Lee Dreger returned to work after one day off but found the university’s decision to close questionable.
“I thought it was premature to close before we even saw a snowflake. It had no effects on me financially. The library took a day off but everything was smooth and running after that,” Dreger said. “I’m sure everyone else wishes we had another day off.”
The second warning issued a few weeks later on Feb. 11 also warned of inclement weather and ice accumulation but, like the first winter storm warning, produced no snow.
Assistant professor Dr. Angela Pinilla-Herrera faced some scheduling challenges in her foreign language classes but worked to readjust her syllabus for the remainder of the semester.
“We missed a week of my Phonetics and Phonology class so there were several things I had to adjust,” Pinilla-Herrera said. “I had to reduce content, change test dates and what we covered each day. We got a little behind but we picked things up. I just had to accommodate to the pace of my students.”
Though the snow days led to a readjustment of schedules and days off for the entire campus, the close of the university caused mixed sentiments among students and professors.
Brahyam Gutierrez, sophomore civil engineering major, found the winter storm to be just the break he needed from school and classes.
“It was great having those days off. It sucked that it didn’t actually snow but I had a lot of fun not being in class,” Gutierrez said.
While some were not negatively affected by the snow days, the sudden shut down of classes and campus left others feeling pressed for time in completing and preparing for tests and assignments.
Jourdan Williams, senior nutrition major, says she enjoyed the break but found the aftermath of days off leaving her with more work to complete than usual.
Williams said, “Of course I enjoyed having classes cancelled back to back, but after it was all over it sucked. It was stressful having to eventually catch up on my work. Tests I had prepared for were pushed back so it was a pain having to re-prepare for the following week.”