With the passing of Hurricane Sandy, many people were left without power and with want for safety. Some areas were struck with severe damage while others were just pestered by harder winds.
Considering how destructive Sandy was and the potential it had to be even more destructive, it’s not surprising that Shepherd closed down—something the university almost never does, even in ice storms.
The real question is, did Shepherd do the right thing in closing down, and did it handle the situation well? I think the answer to that question is yes. Shepherd needed to put the safety of its students above academia, and it did it. Did it carry through with preparing students? I think so. There could have been areas better prepared, but Shepherd at least made good warning before the storm to ensure students knew it was closed. I only say that perhaps it could have been better because I do not know everything that could have been done or that was done.
I only wish Shepherd would be this concerned for students when it snows and when it is icy outside. The people who make the decisions to close or open the school seem not to care as much when storms aren’t this severe when they really should. Considering that most of the students are commuters and that most of them have to drive through bad weather to get to classes (that’s not even to mention the endangerment of professors who have to drive here), I do not feel that Shepherd places the safety of the students, faculty and staff first on most occasions concerning bad weather.
With that said, however, I do feel Shepherd made the right, and surprising, decision in this case, and that the university did a good job of it. I just hope to see more of it from now on. Perhaps Shepherd will take this into account when it snows heavily next or when some other weather phenomena takes place that is a danger to people who have to travel here. I am grateful for the decision to close down the school for a couple days and enjoyed a two-day break. I only hope that in the future, Shepherd will be as prudent as it is starting to show.