By Lizzie Kipp
For whatever reason, Mother Nature has really had it out for central Kansas this winter.
The frigid cold weather hit Hutchinson just in time for the start of the spring semester, causing Hutchinson Community College classes to be canceled three times within the first couple of weeks. It wasn’t just snow. Morning wind chills that dipped below zero also were a cause.
According to Denny Stoecklein, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations, the final decision-maker is HutchCC’s president, Carter File. File will more than likely consider input from staff members, but it is ultimately his decision to cancel classes.
“We monitor forecasts, predictions, and probabilities,” Stoecklein said. “We also take into account decisions made by local school districts.”
Stoecklein said that the process of canceling classes is not an exact science, as many may think. File takes into consideration not just students living in the dorms, but also those who commute inside Hutchinson and from around the area.
“Dr. File takes this decision seriously, keeping in mind all students, not just those near campus,” Stoecklein said.
While the extra time off was appreciated by most, some students are still working on getting back into the groove of things.
Kylee Barth, a Wichita freshman and web design major, admits even she has had some struggles with the class cancellations.
“For the most part, I can do web design from home,” Barth said. “It just seems more professional doing it in a place made for learning how to do it, rather than my home computer.”
Barth added that even though she didn’t have much homework, she was still worried about making up the time missed during that first week or so of class.
“I can tell my teachers are a bit stressed too, since their whole schedule of assignments and daily class routine got messed up,” Barth said. “I feel really bad for them.”
For other students like Sydney Grauer, the setbacks in curriculum had stronger effects.
Grauer was faced with mixed emotions when class was canceled. Like many others, she was pleased to stay indoors and out of the cold, but that peace didn’t last long once she began thinking about her school schedule.
A third-year student at HutchCC, Grauer is studying nursing and stressed the importance of attendance, even this early in the semester.
“We’d had one lecture before school had been canceled, and we were preparing for a test,” she said.
Grauer admits she struggled with missing the important information in lectures.
“All we could really do was review and read information on our own,” Grauer said. “We were kind of at a stand-still.”