BUNow’s exclusive interview with President Soltz on snow days, bad weather, and more.
Picture by Dave Stanwick
Why haven’t classes been cancelled when the weather is like this? That has been the one question on many students minds these past couple weeks. President Soltz agreed to an interview to answer these questions. When asked how he felt about the current weather conditions, Soltz replied “[The weather] is colder than usual.” This being his third winter here, that must be saying something. He also mentioned how it is less icy, but there is more snow than he has usually seen.
With the weather being more snow than ice, Soltz says, his walk to work isn’t bad. He says that 90% of the walkways on campus are clear and only the remaining 10% were icy. Soltz mentioned that he feels that walking around campus can be a problem for some students.
When it comes to the number of commuters, it’s not as big as you would think. Soltz says that 87% of Bloomsburg University students are on campus and the remaining 13% are commuters.
Now, to the question that has been on everybody’s mind, why haven’t classes been cancelled when the weather is like this? “Because I haven’t felt the need,” Soltz responded. “[The University] is not a high school, we can’t make up the days.”
Curious as to how that decision is made? There is a chain of communication that goes something like this: First the decision is made by 5 a.m. President Soltz gets in touch with the Vice President for Administration and Finance, who gets in touch with the police chief and the head of Facilities and Maintenance to find out how the weather is going to be and how it is at the time. They also get in touch with Penn Dot, and check the weather forecast online.
When I asked Soltz about the Facebook group that was made in the favor of Bloomsburg University class cancellations, his response was that it is “an interesting use of social media.” And although this group was made, he still feels like he has been right in the decisions that have been made about the weather and classes.
Even though Soltz has received a few student emails and calls, he still feels like his decisions were the correct ones. “[I am] concerned about student safety,” he says, but feels that he has and will keep Bloomsburg University open when he can.