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Friday, March 31, 2023

Opinion

UH should have canceled class due to severe weather


Cindy Rivas Alfaro/The Cougar

With the severe weather causing umbrellas to flip over and roads to flood, UH should have canceled class or at least provided a virtual option for students. 

Tornado warnings have been issued in Harris, Chambers and Liberty counties with a tornado touching the ground in Pasadena and heading toward Baytown. 

Pasadena police are working to respond to several calls from people affected by the tornado. 

Houston could see wind speeds from 30 to 50 mph with heavy rainfall reaching 6 inches in some areas. 

With a majority of students unable to miss class or unaware of the severe weather conditions, they would have to head home with possible flooding in roads and highways. 

ABC 13 has issued a warning for Houston drivers to be cautious when on the road as several cars have already been seen stranded as roads overflow with water. 

Houston has been known to flood easily because of its low terrain and inadequate sewer systems. It is not surprising to face these weather conditions but it is upsetting to see not much has been done to combat these issues. 

“I think the storm today just makes it feel like UH doesn’t care very much about students beyond the tuition. We knew the storm was coming and (it) was gonna be pretty rough,” said electrical engineer junior Aud Hieronymus. “Even if we didn’t, canceling things as soon as stuff got bad would’ve been good enough.” 

Many students have voiced their frustrations with UH as their clothes and belongings ended up soaked as they tried to make it to their classes. Some have even pointed out the inaccessibility of navigating on campus with sidewalks filled with water. Others are worried about driving home. 

“I think it’s insane that we’ve made everything online during COVID and it was more than functional, then abandon the idea of COVID as well as online classes when online technology is more than useful, especially on days like these,” said psychology sophomore Jocey Jimenez. 

UH has the tools to make attending classes safer for students but a majority of the time, the University does not take advantage of its tools. 

“I actually love this weather but it’s extremely dangerous weather. It was hard to see and the winds were literally blowing me away,” said public health junior Katelyn Teran. “I slipped so many times trying to get to class.”

The University should take student safety into account whenever severe weather conditions can cause hazards for students on campus. With Houston’s infamous history of floods, appropriate measures should be taken to lessen the number of accidents and casualties. 

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a sophomore journalism major who can be reached at [email protected]


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