‘Snow’ More Mondays


The Plaza blanketed in snow after one of the blizzards this season. (Paula Madero/The Observer)


Since the beginning of the spring 2015 semester, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, (FCLC), has had four days in which classes were cancelled due to inclement weather, Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 17 and  March 5. Three of these cancellations have occurred on Monday scheduled days.  Combined with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in January and Presidents Day in February, many classes functioned on interrupted schedules for several weeks.

Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Maria Ebner, whose Intermediate German class meets on Monday, is one of several professors who have been impacted by the cancellations. “It had quite an impact on our course. I had to push back our exam dates three times and push back our starting points for all the different subjects that I had in mind [for the course] two times.”

Associate Dean of FCLC Robert Moniot jokingly remarked of the snow days that “hopefully they’re over.” 

Although weather cancellations provide an inconvenience for many classes, the cancellations are treated with great care by Fordham Public Safety, Moniot explained that the process of making cancellations accounts for commuters and faculty members living outside of Manhattan, particularly the many FCLC faculty members who live in New Jersey. Overtime and staffing expenses are also taken heavily into account. As for making those days up, the Provost Dr. Stephen Freedman, makes a plan as they see fit based on input from the several associate deans. 

According to an email sent to students on Feb. 26, the make up days are scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, and Thursday, April 30. The former is currently scheduled as a typical Wednesday, while the latter is the first reading day at the end of the semester. One reason for the April 1 make up day, Moniot shared, is that there are more Wednesdays in this semester than any other day of the week. As for the evening classes at FCLC, which many undergraduates are enrolled in, Moniot elaborated that “I think their plans are to just leave it to the faculty. To make up their classes as they see fit.”

As for the logistics of the make up plan, running a Monday schedule on a Wednesday presents a unique set of problems for the University as a whole. The reason being that 10 different schools and programs function under Fordham. 

Such issues were present on Tuesday, Feb. 17, when classes met on a Monday schedule. Moniot explained that “[we] had to figure out where to move the FCLC classes into classrooms that would be vacant on a Tuesday given that the other schools that have classes on Tuesdays were still meeting.” He continued, “There was a lot of juggling and that will have to be done again…[although] we picked a day [April 1] when the other schools are having the fewest classes.” 

Despite these obstacles, having an overall plan is easier for professors and faculty members, who would otherwise have to coordinate meeting times for their classes and reserve a classroom by themselves.

Despite losing a reading day, Moniot definitively stated that exam week will not be altered in any fashion. Shortening the number of exam days from eight to seven by means of having multiple exams on the same day has been done before. But according to Moniot the University tries to “avoid any student having three exams on one day. When you go to seven days, that’s no longer guaranteed. Also, students will have made [travel plans], so we decided not to mess with exam week.”

Some, like Ebner, are optimistic about the make up dates. “I do believe it helps us now because I already know that I will be able to push [my class] back a little bit longer.”