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Students upset colleges stayed open during storm

READ MORE: Students upset colleges stayed open during storm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- At a time when New Hanover County is under a State of Emergency and officials are advising people to stay home, college students still had to go to class today.

Snow days are rare in the south. So how bout a rain day? Not at CFCC and UNCW today, even though public schools in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties were closed.

"It's horrible," CFCC student Arthur Lewis said. "I mean getting out in the rain, risking our lives to come up here because they want to keep their little schedule."

School was the last place some students wanted to be Thursday.

"You got to get out and risk losing your car and come up here and go to class when very few people showed up. They should have just shut it down," Lewis said. "Maybe a few teachers will lose their cars today and start revolting."

But CFCC spokesman David Hardin says the weather did not warrant a cancellation.

"The mission of the college is to serve adults and prepare them for the world of work," Hardin said. "We're a little different than the public schools that are closed today. They're dealing with young children, which, of course, is much different than working with adults."

Hardin says instructors drove around to test out the safety of the streets.

"When it came down to make the call, the majority of the streets were passable, so we remain open so we can keep providing the job training that everyone is looking for right now," he said.

Whether they were dressed for it or not, UNCW students were also out of luck.

"These decisions are always difficult to make," UNCW Environmental Health & Safety Director Stan Harts. "We made the decision based on information we received from the national weather service and emergency management and detailed surveying of the campus. We've been doing round-the-clock surveying of campus conditions."

Harts said the flooding wasn't bad enough to cancel classes.

"As opposed to other events, such as hurricanes that are much more of a threat to public safety, this is really a lot of water, an inconvenience, and a lot of standing water, something we all deal with every day in typical rain storms," Hart said.

UNCW did cancel classes last night because of flash flooding and gale force winds. Another reason CFCC and UNCW decided not to cancel classes today was because a lot of businesses were open.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Get a towel and quit crying

Ponder this:
For all the students regardless of age who have spent a ton of time emailing and whining about CFCC and UNCW's weather decision, do you spend as much time and energy on your classes as you do making excuses?

For those of you who think administrators are overpaid and uncaring, go ahead and take their job so you can listen to nonsense whining and have every decision questioned by non qualified "experts". They work long hours making your school a better place. They could make a lot more money elsewhere but they don't they do because they believe in higher education. Those who do leave do so because they get sick of the BS from whiners like you who want the world to be responsible for them. Anytime you think you can do my job better, it's yours. I guarantee you would not last 1 day dealing with the calls and emails and whining we get over something that is part of what living in Wilmington is...wet and rainy!

For all the people who had to go to work to serve you food, make sure your classes were taught, supported you with technology, did repairs in the rain, cleaned your bathrooms, supported your teachers by typing their lessons, and otherwise kept you safe, do you hear them complaining? No! I got up early to be there for you as did my colleagues. You're welcome.

Decisions were made using the best forecasts available. How many meteorologist get weather 100% right? So you're smarter than them or emergency professionals? Seriously get a grip.

For those of you who are parents, do a favor for us who work with your students every day, make them empowered and personally responsible. Quit calling us to second guess every decision we make. We actually take a lot of factors into consideration and analyze decisions so we're not morons.

Stan Harts

I would like to THANK Stan Harts for making sure the roads on campus were fine..... especially given that parking spaces are minimal, and NONE of the students actually drive on those roads!!!! Parking is minimal,so we just get to walk on the safe roads!!!!! The unsafe roads I had to drive on get to school! We were scheduled to take an exam.........

As the mother of a two year old, I felt spledid when my headlights dissappeared beneath the water on the road! The entire time I was wondering if I would make it back to see my son.... and if I didn't whether my family was going to be able to sue the school.......

Next time Stan.... please recognize that UNCW has a large number of students that live in surrounding RURAL areas............

You felt ..."spledid..."?

Nice!!! And you're a college gal? Did you by chance notice that damp, moist, cool feeling of water on your feet, before your headlights "dissappeared"? Water would enter your car doors well before your headlights "dissappeared". Or did you perhaps just drive into a cavernouse sinkhole that just swallowed your entire car? Could it have been possible that you didn't exercise due caution and were going way too fast when you hit that little puddle?

And you want to sue the school? Better learn to spell first! They have make up courses for that at UNCW.



I drove from near Burgaw that morning and had no problems. I think UNCW should have had a delay but I was able to find a parking space there with no problem and went to school that day with no isuses. A little wet Thursday morning but that is all. I had my kids in the car with me and the daycare workers were already at work when I got there. Use common sense and I do not know of a professor who would question if you told them you felt unsafe to travel due to flooding on the roads. Then again, I only have 4 years experience with it. Drive if you feel safe and quit whining.


UNCW and CFCC ineptitude towards Studen's Safety

I am a 31 year old commuter student attending UNCW and I thought it was a stupid move on both UNCW and CFCC's behalf to keep these institutions open on Thursday. I know that I'm and adult and this is part of growing up to go into work when conditions are unfavorable or when life gets tough, but come on please. I know it was getting close to fall break too, but I do not know where McKeithan's and DePalo's heads were but their common sense must not had been in Wilmington this past week.

Things wont change much when

Things wont change much when they graduate from college. I had to go work..... welcome to the cold, cruel world.

Grow up

Personally, I am glad these whiners are in college and not in the United States Marine Corps.

Putting your life in danger

Putting your life in danger is a patriotic duty and an honor for many of us. I have been in worse situations with a lot less serving this country. I resent the fact that we PAY for school and they still "heavily influence" whether you come to school by NOT postponing scheduled exams etc.

I stand by my word. If I need to be somewhere, I am there come hell or high water.... At the same time, we pay these people to help us become more "prepared" for the world. Let me tell you that these pansies have no idea what the real world is.....the real world is full of choices, and even workplaces are more understanding than these goons....

My daughter goes to CFCC but

My daughter goes to CFCC but we live in Brunswick County,what about her? We had some roads that were closed and some washed out.Did they drive to our county to check the roads?They may be adult students but they are also somebodies children...if they had gotten killed,who do you think would pay for that expense? Maybe CFCC needs to think about that before they face a law suit because they "are different from public schools."


My daughter also goes to CFCC and I sent her to school. I told her if the roads were bad to turn around and go home. Personal responsibility and all that.

You have GOT to be kidding

You have GOT to be kidding me? Our "adult" students felt like they were "risking their lives" to attend classes in a rain shower and five mile per hour winds? Puhleeze! I feel like I'm risking my life every time a college student passes me on South College Road, texting on the phone and changing gears with their knees.

No one complained on Monday when the roads were actually flooded and the winds were a'whipping...but on Thursday and Friday, school was the last place the students wanted to be - what they REALLY wanted was an extra two days off added to their Fall Break - funny how no one mentioned that.

What a bunch of whiners these "kids" have become.

-The winds were way more

-The winds were way more than 5 mph.
-Carolina Beach was under 3 feet of water yesterday. It's all over every weather station in America. Many students live in that area and have to commute to campus.
-Don't classify all students into one group. Yes, there are some students who drive aggressively, but I can definitely tell you there are definitely just as many angry middle aged men and women who are just as bad. In fact, most of the accidents I see don't even involve college students at all.
-Many students aren't even "kids". They are in their 20s, 30s, even 40s and living off campus and trying to make a living while attending school as well. They have every right to be concerned about the weather we had.
-And if I recall, many people were concerned about the weather on Monday. I couldn't make it to my night class because I couldn't even get my car out of the parking lot, let alone drive 20 minutes in the dark in 6 inches of standing water for an hour long lecture.

Back up

Ok hun just so you no not everyone in college are "kids" i am 26 and got to cape fear for cosmetology. I dont text and drive for one, due to my friend being killed by someone texting and driving and to i live in leland and the only way over to wilmington is the bridge... if the bridge is closed i cant get to school. Also of other people couldnt get to school due to road closings. So yes some people were risking there lives to get to school thats why i didnt not go thursday. They should have closed it so people wouldnt get hurt trying to to miss class. People that go to certain class like me have to punch in and out from a time clock to make sure we dont miss that many days. CFCC should have some sympathy for people that can only miss 20% of class. So maybe you need to step back and think about other peoples situation before you start going on some little rant taking about how "kids" cant drive...

Your kidding me with this

Your kidding me with this right? You are a college student? Where did you go to grammar and high school? Who taught you to write and spell? This entire statement is a grammatical and spelling nightmare and you think you need more time off from school? Then you actually put in print that you can "only" miss 20% of school, poor baby. Just so you know that is 1 in every 5 days (I say this because I assume your math skills are terrible as well), try missing 20% of work and see how long you remain employed. Again, I'll do the math for you that would be missing 1 day per week. Think before you write and try using spell-check.

Fall Break is a crock...

Ok, I am a CFCC student, I am 33 years old and I work a full time job...which I was at every day this week. I also went to class bot Tuesday and Thursday...however the Fall break is a crock. It wouldn't add 2 days onto break, as break only consisted of 1 true school day. Fall Break 2010 is October 1, 2 and 3rd...a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. LOL!!! Since when do Saturday's and Sunday's count in your fall break?
I personally don't care one way or the other as I am not going anywhere for "Fall Break" but this is the most pathetic Fall Break I have ever heard of...even adults in the real world can take time off work to take a vacation or just a much needed rest.

As can you

You can take your time off between the semesters where as us adults in the real world don't get time off for changing seasons. Classes end December 10th and don't start back until January 5th and you are whining because you didn't get a rain day? Wow, grow up.

"adults in the real world"?

"adults in the real world"? Excuse me? Do you know how many students are juggling between 30 hour a week jobs, PLUS being a full time student? Even then, we can hardly pay our bills. Also, you just insulted a huge part of the UNCW population who are over 25 and going to school to have a better life. Stop trying to be such a tough guy and go back to your miserable life.

Yes, in the real world

Where you don't concurrent get weeks off (Fall & Spring breaks) before you go back to work. Nor do we adults in the real world get to take summer off. If you can hardly pay your bills I would suggest either a second part time job or cut back on class hours and work more. Not trying to be a tough guy, I didn't mean to scare you. My life? All good here, thanks.


Who said I was whining???
Oh! You did!!
I probably handle more in a day at work then you do in a week, and I go to school. So...You Grow UP!!!

You probably do

The fries don't cook by themselves.

...and what was YOUR job

...and what was YOUR job when you were in college? We have to start somewhere. We can't be CEOs when we're 19.

Oh yea, I forgot

I forgot that Napster, Facebook, Dell Computers, Google and others were started or thought up and formed while the inventers were in college.


If I didn't know different I would think you two were in elementary school.

These 'kids', college age

These 'kids', college age adults are too scared to go to school when it's raining. All us other adults and to go to work all over all {3} counties with rain alerts in the storm, these 'kids' need to grow up and see what its like to be an adult in the world and stop whining and crying when they don't get their way, just like spoiled little brats. when the graduate they will be expected to show up at work in many kinds of weather problems as well as many times in their lives when they feel bad or are sick. Stop trying to take the easy way out and become what you are, an adult in the real world.

If you had checked the local

If you had checked the local closings, you would have known that the employees for the courthouse, city of Wilmington, public school staff, and MANY others stayed nice and dry in their houses yesterday.


how many students have and will skip class to go to the beach or other non- school related things... and nobody MADE them go, it was still up to them. The town still went on even with some places closed--the mail was still delivered in the terrible weather in the unstable little vans in wind and flooded areas. Can,t get down the street...get out and walk through to get to the boxes. It is the motto - neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night...They would've liked to be home and public service pepole where out in it too. Police officers having to tell the idiots not to try and go through high water covered roads. It was up to you to go to class or not but the working world -- not so much

Most of the students had

Most of the students had midterm exams to take, with no possibility of makeups. There was no way we could miss class.
Yes, the mail was delivered, but I remember hearing the 911 call on the news about a local mail truck hydroplaning into a ditch because of the weather. Hmmm...


Okay...I'm a public school teacher and a graduate student. I have some legal background, but I'm really curious about the legal issues surrounding a colleges decision not to close. Here is my thinking...

Sure we are adults and can make the decision to drive or not. This is a key difference for the public schools, where children must ride the bus. However, colleges do not afford us the right to excused or have special considerations during bad weather. For instance, UNCW stated on its website that instructors should be mindful of the attendance policy for students. If a student has an exam or project due that simple statement does not give us any grounds to ask for extensions, appeal grades, or otherwise be protected. We are the mercy of a professor who may or may not be understanding. Thus, we are forced to pick between earning a good grade, graduating on time, and being safe. This in a way encourages us to report to campus.

The statement from CFCC about training people for the workforce is not accurate. As an employee, if schools were open and the weather is bad I can simply take a sick day, leave without pay, or vacation leave and not be penalized. However, again, if I missed class I could face many types of negative penalities from lower grades to far worse.

So after all that....if a student were to be injuried driving to a college campus does the campus bare any responsibility? Neglience?

Actually, UNC-Wilmington has

Actually, UNC-Wilmington has a well stated "adverse weather policy" that is presented to students from day one. From the UNCW Student and Faculty/Staff Handbooks: "Students should use their best judgement before commuting to campus, and should notify their instructors if they feel they are unable to attend classes because of adverse weather conditions - Instructors are to offer leniency with attendance policies during this time."

Sounds to me as if the school has their student's safety in mind...

And of course the school would bear no liability if you were in a accident...if YOU decided it was safe enough to drive to school, then the school has no responsibility....are they responsible if you have a wreck on a bright, sun shiny day?

Adults should act like adults...


THEY WERE NOT MISINFORMED. Every news station in America was broadcasting about the conditions in Wilmington. They sent out an email to students stating they were misinformed, which is total BS. They also claimed that the drought conditions prior to the rainfall influenced their decision, but I'm pretty sure the 12 inches of rain we got on Monday reversed any of those effects. Not to mention that the rain was falling too hard for the ground to absorb all of it in time.
Another statement in the email said that they "make decisions, given the information we have at a particular point in time, sometimes as far in advance as a day or longer.", yet they waited until 4:20PM to inform students that classes after 5PM were canceled, and many of the students didn't get the memo because the website was not updated until later on.
I am a commuter student and had to go to class because of strict attendance policies set forth by my professors. More than half of the students didn't show up, so there was no point for my professors to actually teach anything. They didn't even take attendance.
Power outages, interior flooding, standing water, and potholes were only some of the concerns people had while trying to get to campus today. And since the public schools were closed, parents who are in college could not go because they had to stay home with their children - and that statement about dealing with young children made me livid. So only children are guaranteed safety in this weather? They aren't even the ones who have to drive in it. And of course there are those living in Carolina Beach, which was in 2 feet of water as of this morning. It is completely absurd that UNCW and CFCC would put students and staff in danger like this.