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Snowmageddon: Bad weather, or bad attitudes?

It seems like almost every year in the Lower Mainland, we get one good dump of snow late in the winter season. In a fairly mild climate, it’s pretty rare we ever see more than an inch or two accumulated — but when the flakes fly and build up over a few days, there is frantic pandemonium.

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By  Kayla St. Louis (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: March 5, 2014

The snow was bad, the roads were worse, but were we that upset? Or were we just looking to complain? (Image:  UFV/ flickr)

The snow was bad, the roads were worse, but were we that upset? Or were we just looking to complain? (Image: UFV/ flickr)

It seems like almost every year in the Lower Mainland, we get one good dump of snow late in the winter season. In a fairly mild climate, it’s pretty rare we ever see more than an inch or two accumulated — but when the flakes fly and build up over a few days, there is frantic pandemonium.

After last weekend’s sizeable snowfall, UFV faced a predicament Monday morning: keep campuses open, or shut everything down?

There isn’t really a middle ground on this matter, is there?

We all know what happened from there: UFV kept campuses open and classes running on what could be argued was the worst day of this season’s winter flurry fury. To the dismay of stressed students who had to commute or write midterms on Monday, Tuesday followed with closed campuses for the entire day when conditions had improved. Like any mature adult would, folks decided to weigh in on social media, commenting on both the school’s Facebook page and the UFV website bulletin.

When I first clicked the UFV bulletin myself, I went there looking for the latest update on weather conditions and what this meant for the school, but as I read, I stayed for the entertainment. What started as a fleeting glance quickly evolved into periodic breaks from studying to catch the latest updates from students and faculty. I was no longer concerned with the weather or conditions. I was drawn to these posts like on-lookers driving past a bad accident on the highway, those who are intrigued by the damage. The bigger the mess, the longer and harder they look, trying to take in as much of the morbid scene as possible.

And what a mess it was. There was a hell of a scene on the UFV bulletin Monday night. Some students weighed in with concerns of safety, midterms, traffic accidents, and road conditions. Those who braved the commute provided updates of the conditions, and others provided less-than-polite views about UFV’s policies, decisions, and maintenance of parking lots and sidewalks. Then of course, there were those who made claims like, “snow tires are all you need,” and “the weather was not that bad; stop being such babies!”

F-bombs were dropped, people slandered each other and the school, and the issue reflected the weather less and less. Would you seriously speak that way to your professors or administration? How about the dean? I know I wouldn’t, regardless of how strongly I felt. This behaviour is disrespectful, rude,  and only succeeds in making you look inconsiderate. Frankly, not the type of person anyone wants to spend time with.  Come on guys, this isn’t high school anymore. Leave your attitudes at the door.

While I didn’t personally understand why UFV stayed open on Monday, I kept my bleeding mouth shut and waited for the next update. Yes, I had some strong thoughts on the matter, but expressing my disdain in the heat of the moment wasn’t going to accomplish much. Sure I’d feel better — at least temporarily — but in the long run? I have a hard time believing the posts I read on the UFV bulletins were entirely about the weather or the university’s protocol for dealing with weather. What I saw in most of the posts actually reflected the bad attitudes many students have in general, and under dire circumstances as this one those attitudes really show through.

It’s time to grow up, UFV.

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