Recent inclement weather caused the University to be closed on Jan. 28 and 29.
It was the perfect combination of freezing weather and the predicted light snow that turned into a snow “storm,” which pointed out an inherent flaw in the Chattanooga and University infrastructure: we are not prepared for snow.
We at The Echo know this is because Tennessee does not receive a lot of snow. On average, Chattanooga has 2.7 reported snow days due to 3.3 inches of snow.
What was even more dangerous were the lows around 10 degrees which left some classrooms on campus inoperable because of dropping temperatures.
Not to forget the students who commute to campus. Among them, 40 percent have a drive of 10 to 20 minutes to campus.
Even if all students were able to get to campus, most professors live across Chattanooga, including on steep inclines like Signal Mountain.
All these things considered, we at The Echo know school closings were necessary, and support the wise decision of the University to close school.
Considering future snow events, which currently rest on the optimistic end at ten feet and on the more realistic spectrum at a rain/snow mix, we encourage more salting efforts and classroom temperature testing in older buildings. These efforts are essential, especially around campus where ice persisted for a while in the most recent snow fall.
While the University is responsible for campus, we encourage those who might be commuting to assess the roads where you live. If there is ice or you make the decision that driving is unsafe, we advise you to reconsider coming to classes.
We are proud in the University’s continued vigilance when colder weather causes campus difficulty, and appreciate the addition of a storm spotting class, starting Feb. 25.
These classes will allow students to become better storm trackers, but also allow them to make informed decisions when conditions are unsafe.
These classes will be conducted in the UC Fortwood room from 2-4 p.m., and the Chickamauga room from 6-8 p.m.