Weather alters attendance rates on campus

weather symbol
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The decency of the weather plays a huge role in some CSU students’ decisions on whether or not to go to class.

Hangovers, homework and more often than not, laziness, are normal deterrents from class, but now some Colorado students are making the weather their primary excuse.


“Weather plays a huge role in my attendance,” said Braydon Barry, freshman business major. “When it snows, I’ll look out the window and I will not get out of bed — I don’t want to deal with that.”

Barry, a resident on the 12th floor of Westfall Hall, can easily roll on his side in the morning, open the curtain to look out the window, check the weather on campus and immediately decide whether or not he’ll show up to his 8 a.m. lecture. For students living off campus, this decision is much harder to make.

“When the snow is really bad and the streets are really icy, I don’t even want to go,” said Chantel Chavez, a sophomore majoring in natural resources and recreational tourism. “I live far away and it’s hard to get to school in those conditions — I almost wrecked one time.”

Some professors have been fairly attentive to the phenomenon of weather-based attendance, but some haven’t even taken notice. For Nick Johnson, grad student and TA in the history department, attendance is nothing but a random decision brought on by random events.

“I don’t think the weather really has that much to with it,” Johnson said. “There are days when everyone shows up and there are days when nobody shows up — I’m sure that more students consider ditching class when the weather is bad, but for the most part I think it’s pretty random.”

On the other hand, some professors have seen an obvious correlation between the weather outside and attendance to their classes. Dr. Elizabeth Williams, assistant professor of organizational communication, may be teaching solely online courses this semester, but in previous years at CSU, she has seen first-hand the parallel between attendance and weather.

“Good weather keeps people out of class and bad weather keeps people out of class,” Dr. Williams said. “I think bad weather can be problematic for any student who lives anywhere that has poor weather, but it’s the same as when you have a job, you have to get there regardless.”

Depending on the professor, attendance to some classes isn’t required, but with tuition as high as it is, it might be worth the time to go, according to Barry.

“For the most part, I go to every class or at least try to go,” Barry said. “I’m one of the students paying all that I can for my school and if I’m paying money for it, I might as well go — every minute of the class that you miss, you’re just throwing away money.”



Collegian Reporter Rick Cookson can be reached at