Weather makes no difference in class attendance students, professors say

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With the coming of November, the first signs of the foul weather that winter brings have appeared. Traveling to and from class can be a concern when it comes to the change of season, especially with how last week’s freezing rain turned into snow. Are the roads safe? Is class attendance affected when the weather gets bad?

According Nathan Vogt, sophomore in agricultural business, the roads are not much of a concern.

“If the roads are cleared then there is no problem getting from home to class,” Vogt said.

He said it is not a problem because the university typically won’t hold classes if the roads are not cleared. His main concern if there is class during bad weather is the sidewalks, he said.

Anthony Howell, junior in humanities, said that missing class because of unfavorable weather is irresponsible.

“I find the cold months a hassle because I have to get up earlier to get my truck ready, but if I considered skipping because of the weather, what else would I do instead of going to class?” Howell said, “Class is inside, gym is inside, the difference is you get credit for going to class and going to the gym is self-gratifying.”

Howell said weather is the last thing to be considered when the thought of not going to class arises.

“I think time is the reason I have decided not to go to class in the past,” Howell said. “Rain and snow are no big deal. I really worry if it’s icy. I have to sandbag my truck because of how light it is.”

David Fallin, instructor of marketing, said that attendance is not a real problem in his class of about 500 students.

“Nobody skips because it’s too cold,” Fallin said, “Rain isn’t a problem; snow is only a problem in the spring semester. In the fall semester everyone is on top of getting the roads cleared. In the spring semester we can have out-of-season snow storms.”

Fallin said that if such conditions existed on the roads, safety becomes a bigger concern than attendance.

“I cannot really blame the students if they do not want to risk it coming to class. I would rather they think of their own safety than try and make it. I do not really see many skipping in any weather,” he said.

Gregory Spaulding, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, has a different view of attendance.

“I think there is a relationship between the two, attendance and the weather in the colder months,” Spaulding said, “I have also seen the number of students in class drop on nice days as well. I think there is a sweet spot between the nice, sunny days and the dark, stormy and cold ones.”

Spaulding said that there is one true precursor for attendance.

“If there is an assignment due, rain or shine, the class finds a way to turn it in,” he said. “If I have an exam, everyone shows up for that, regardless. And following that, the first day of class after exams sees a big drop off.”

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