For many K College students, the headache caused by last week’s ice storm seemed minor in comparison to the one caused by the twilight reopening of campus activities last Tuesday morning.
Students were notified that the campus would once again be closed by way of a “K Alert” at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Monday night. Soon after, the Kalamazoo Gazette ran an article on-line confirming the College’s closure, which included statements from Kalamazoo College Media Relations Director, Jeff Palmer.
“The information we had from Consumers Energy was that the power could go on anytime between one hour and three days,” said Palmer.
Needless to say, it was quite a shock to hear my phone, along with the phones of the 5 other people who I was staying with off-campus, go off at nearly six in the morning to announce that school was back on and all students would be expected to report to classes, including those that began at 8:30 a.m.
The sudden reopening of classes sent many students, who assumed they had the next day to get things done, into panic. Parker de Waal K’13 and members of the Arts and Community LLHU traveled to de Wall’s house in Grand Rapids and made the decision to spend the night after receiving the “K Alert” on Monday evening, which announced that school would be closed. De Waal expressed frustration at the school’s early-morning decision to re-open.
“I’m sure the people with class would have gone back,” said de Waal. “I was really upset that the administration would call off school and then call it back on.”
Palmer cited the amount of weather-related closures this school year as a reason for the school’s sudden reopening.
“We had already missed one snow day, one ice day,” Palmer said. We didn’t want to miss a third day.”
While the College aimed to minimize the educational loss for K students, it ended up causing a rift in communication between students and the administration.
Students suggested that a morning off to get adjusted may have been a better choice.
“We understand that really, effectively, the College didn’t open for business as usual until Tuesday at noon,” Palmer said.