North Texas Daily

Students not helpful during winter storm

Students not helpful during winter storm

February 25
23:50 2015

The Editorial Board

Although meteorologists around the world have the ability to forecast inclement weather long before it occurs, many college-age people fail to pay attention, leaving them in a state of shock when, well, weather happens.

When the severe winter weather made its way to North Texas this week, people all but lost their minds — stop. It’s just winter. But it’s not just poor roadway conditions that produce consternation; the internal realization of class being cancelled enthralls students to rally for the cause.

UNT students begged and pleaded for the voice of Buddy Price (the Eagle Alert guy) to free them of lectures and the outdoors, hoping instead for Netflix binges and snow angels.

There were some clear winners, and some sad losers this week, with many students overreacting to the decisions of diligent administrators.

#UNTLivesMatter

This hashtag on Twitter came pretty early Monday night, when students took to social media to lobby their case for another day off, following a day of closures. This is misrepresentative of the efforts of so many groups on campus that have voiced concern for the original events that involved #BlackLivesMatter. We get it. It’s witty and topical, making the satire recognizable, but it’s just tacky. Do better.

UNT students

Clearly people were concerned about roadway safety, but many who expressed their opinions on social media got it wrong. Sunday evening didn’t feature much online conversation but Monday night, UNT administrators contemplated for several hours whether or not to close campus the following day. When officials announced Tuesday would have a delayed start instead of an outright closure, people didn’t take too kindly.

Students bombarded UNT president Neal Smatresk on Twitter to complain about the lack of closure, demanding school be cancelled. Tactless statements and accusations that Smatresk was unconcerned for student safety and focused only on education are absurd. There’s a fine line between being concerned, and straight-up complaining. And too many UNT students demonstrated a lack of maturity in finger pointing at Smatresk.

President Smatresk

Thankfully, Smatresk’s professionalism was unaffected by the surge of dumb complaints of students wishing to skip class, electing instead to be patient and dutifully explain the situation as it happened, ensuring all students and faculty were informed and up to speed. Throughout the entire ordeal, Smatresk responded on Twitter to students and others. However, due to the redundancy of the student complaints, his feed was repetitive, answering the same question with something to the effect of: Yes, the roads are bad. We’ll continue to monitor.

We applaud Smatresk and the many other administrators for their attentiveness and transparency to the UNT community throughout the region. The administration handled this weather emergency with ease and effectively transitioned back into normal operations. There will be situations like this in the future (possibly later this week), and the administration has shown it is prepared.

North Texas Daily

When Denton froze over, NT Daily editors went to work Monday night, building the newspaper for a campus that might not even be open the following day. We even sent the paper to the press at 11:30 p.m., half an hour before our usual deadline. Our duty is to serve the student body here, and that’s what we did.

But on Page 10 we printed a premature headline: “Delayed class start prompts student response.” It was a social media analysis examining the student response to Smatresk’s announcement of a class delay Tuesday. Unfortunately by the time it hit stands, the relevancy of the article had cycled out and was inaccurate news, although it was correct at the time of our deadline.

When bad weather conditions interrupt operations, it’s important every party remains patient and cooperative to ease the multifaceted process along. UNT students were not part of the solution, only another part of the problem.

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