Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Rain, rain, classes away

Judging by the amount of rain we had yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us began to seriously consider getting in the business of ark building. Especially if you happened to walk by the Visitor’s Center and saw the cars that turned into submarines.

I’m not sure if it’s global warming or ozone depletion or El Niño or La Niña. All I know is that our weather is screwed up royally.

One day it’s freezing and snowing, the next it’s foggy and the day after that we get a flood. It’s totally ridiculous. Get with the program, Weather Demons! It’s January in Massachusetts. That means snow and ice, not flash floods and days when coats are not necessary. It’s only been like this for thousands of years.

The scientific reason weather occurs is because of the whims of the Weather Demons. They are minor elementals, in the parlance of fantasy role-playing games, and act like a kind of meteorological mafia. In exchange for normal weather, we need to perform sacrifices to them as prescribed by the ancient rites. These are the usual sort of sacrifices, involving chanting, doing unusual things with knives, misrepresenting neo-paganism and a Vermont Weather Rock, which is used as the high altar.

For those unaware, Vermont Weather Rocks are ingenious devices capable of both telling time and weather. Go to any Vermont country store and ask for one. A really good one will cost around $40. It looks like an ordinary rock, but it has special properties and can only come from a secret quarry in Bennington County.

A Vermont Weather Rock works thusly: you take your special rock and put it outside where it’s visible from a window in your house, and you wait for it to change appearance. If it looks wet, it’s raining; if it’s white, it’s snowing; if you can’t see it, it’s night. And so on. A complete guide can be purchased with your Vermont Weather Rock for only $10.  

Anyhow, for the sacrifice to be effective, you need a rubber chicken and some organic material that used to belong to a TV weatherman (hair, teeth, skin, amniotic fluid, and so on). In the old days we used to sacrifice the entire broadcaster, but in another example of Freedom of Religion being suppressed in the United States, that is now considered first degree homicide. You take the organic material and stuff it in the rubber chicken, then you place it on the Vermont Weather Rock, paint “Yes” and “No” on opposite sides in red paint, have every member of the congregation spit on it, tie it to the Vermont Weather Rock, throw it through the window of the local National Weather Service office and run like hell. Afterwards, everyone enjoys a hearty laugh and a meal at a nearby Chinese restaurant.

This should appease the Weather Demons enough for at least one snow day, depending on location.

If the administration of the University of Massachusetts Amherst had a collective brain cell, school should have been canceled yesterday. I first came to that conclusion the previous night, when the ground had virtually become all black ice. It was all but impossible to walk around. I was surprised that the busses were still on time and able to get around instead of turning into mutant rampaging Zambonis. It reflects very favorably on UMass Transit and their drivers that such a terrifying possibility did not occur. I still almost slipped a few times and got stuck on a patch around the Townehouses.

But when it’s pouring all day, very windy and extreme flooding occurs, I cannot do anything but question the University’s decision to remain open. With campus underwater and not enough money in the budget for scuba or diving gear, it’s ridiculous to remain open. Road conditions were dangerous, cars were flooded and the Southwest Towers were carried away by the current. Who was thinking of those members of our campus community who can’t swim? The administration certainly wasn’t.

The UMass administration acted with all the intelligence of a triceratops. They were not thinking in the long term, only in the short. In the short term, having campus remain open may benefit the administration by saving on the logistics of rearranging schedules and events, but in the long term, drowned students don’t pay tuition.

The safety of the student body must be paramount in the decisions involving bad weather and continuation of classes. I am sure that the University always attempts to act with those considerations in mind, but they undeniably screwed as badly as the weather did this time.

Maybe they need Vermont Weather Rocks.

Matthew M. Robare is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at

2 Responses to “Rain, rain, classes away”
  1. Nick says:

    As far as I can tell, there were no ill-effects of keeping UMass open. It was just rain. All that black ice melted this morning and I didn’t see any danger in going to my classes today. If you were so worried about dying on the way to class, then just stay home, there’s no need to shut down campus for an entire day just because it was raining out.

  2. muad'dib says:

    “Mutant rampaging Zambonis” are the three funniest words ever published in the Collegian (though not the Morning Wood ;-)) Nice going Matt.

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