I love snow days. As a kid, there was nothing better than waking up in the morning to my mom telling me that school was canceled. The world was white and snowy, and I got to sleep in and skip school.
I wish I could say that this love for snow days still exists for me as a college student, but things are more complicated now. As a student employee with multiple on-campus jobs, snow days have become a disappointment and an inconvenience.
When campus is closed and classes are canceled, so is my job. In the last few weeks, I have missed a total of 10 hours of work due to snow-related closures or delays. While it was nice to sleep in on those days, 10 hours of work pays a lot of money that I now don’t have.
Being a college student is expensive, and like many students on campus, I must work to pay for groceries, rent, gas and more. Missing 10 hours of work for me means losing money that would have paid for an entire tank of gas and two weeks’ worth of groceries.
Losing the chance to make this money can be detrimental, and it’s not fair for student employees. Because of this, I think student employees should be compensated for any hours they would have worked during unexpected closures or delays.
I also think that if the university had to pay student employees for snow days, it might help to discourage unnecessary closures.
Of course, sometimes we do get so much snow or have such bad conditions that it would be dangerous to drive to campus. However, if the university were required to pay their student employees for snow days, perhaps they would take more careful consideration when deciding whether to close campus.
Unnecessary closures could be avoided so that students could still attend their classes and student employees wouldn’t have to miss work. And, if a closure or delay were necessary, student employees would be compensated for the hours they normally would have worked.
Being a college student is expensive, and it’s already difficult enough to make money when juggling work and school. Universities shouldn’t make things even harder on student employees than they already are by refusing to compensate them for campus closures.