Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day Hopes

Monday, February 16, 2003, marked a momentous day in Princeton history. After 21 inches of snow fell throughout central New Jersey, University officials canceled classes, leading to much rejoicing and many snowmen on Alexander Beach. Since that glorious Monday morn 7 years ago, Princeton community has not canceled classes for snow, and rumor has it that there had not a snow day for at least 10 years before 2003.

With Princeton’s campus already covered in white and the flakes falling throughout the night, one is left to wonder whether the University should cancel classes today and allow students to relive one of their greatest high school memories— a snow day. Such a cancellation, while preventing students from attending class and participating in some of the first precepts of the term, seems appropriate for today. It allows students a day of fun frolicking in the frost and perfecting their snowball throwing skills. For upperclassmen interviewing with banks and investment firms this week, a University cancellation of classes might spread to Career Services and save the interviewees from the embarrassment of showing up rosy-cheeked and dandruffed with melting snow.

A cancellation would save faculty and staff from unsafe road conditions. But even beyond safety considerations, a snow day would allow Princeton to seize one of the most esteemed honors in the Ivy League—having the fewest days of class. As noted in 2003, by canceling one day of class, Princeton reduced its total class days from 120 to 119, dropping below Harvard, which normally ties Princeton, for the fewest in the Ivy League. Now, that is a tradition worth fighting for…

By Matt Butler, senior columnist for Opinion.