Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami needs to cancel classes for the solar eclipse

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about the solar eclipse on April 8. And if you are even somewhat connected to the happenings around Oxford and Miami University, you’ll have seen plenty of eclipse-related events being advertised. 

In fact, there is a barrage of information and worry regarding the eclipse, especially about the potential for increased traffic, depletion of food in the area and chaos as people from outside of town crowd into Oxford. Oxford and Butler County seem to be preparing for the eclipse to strain the city’s resources and cause potentially dangerous situations. 

The city is doing well to both mitigate the problems that could arise and give ample opportunity to Oxford residents and visitors to enjoy the eclipse.

So amid all these precautions taken by Oxford, what is Miami doing to allow students to stay safe and witness this once-in-a-lifetime event?


While they have acknowledged the existence of the eclipse, the university itself has not planned anything around it. The Richard and Carole Cox Art Museum is hosting events and a viewing party, but they seem to merely be extensions of the events happening in Oxford. 

Despite all the worry and excitement about the fact that we are in the path of totality, the area where a full eclipse can be viewed, Miami has done nothing to address the unique, and possibly dangerous, situation that students will find themselves in. So what should be done?

Miami needs to cancel classes during the eclipse.

This will increase the likelihood that students on the way to class, especially those who drive, are not caught up in the crazy traffic and throngs of people who will be suffocating Oxford. This is simply for student safety. There is even a petition on to cancel classes.

And this is not an outrageous thing to ask Miami to do. There are plenty of universities and lower level schools that are modifying their schedules.

In northeast Ohio, nearly all public school systems are canceling classes for the entire day. Similar cancellations are happening in central Ohio.

Within Ohio universities, schools like the University of Dayton are completely canceling classes, and other universities in or near the path of totality like Wright State and Cleveland State University are modifying their schedules and allowing students to enjoy the eclipse without punishment for missing class. 

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Purdue University is encouraging professors to cancel classes, and it’s not even in the path of totality. Meanwhile, Indiana University, which like Miami is in the path, is completely canceling classes. Down south, Texas State University is canceling classes during the peak of the eclipse, which is better than nothing. 

While many of these cancellations are due to safety concerns, that shouldn’t even be the only reason to let students miss class for the eclipse. The phrase gets thrown around a lot, but this total solar eclipse is truly once in a lifetime. It has not happened for 200 years and will not happen again until 2099.

I don’t think some people understand the weight of once in a lifetime. As students, we would be in our late 90s to see it again. Not many of us will make it that long, let alone be living in the path of totality and get to see our world go completely dark for a few minutes. 

College is a time to foster wonder, to encourage discovery and new experiences. We are supposed to learn more about the world around us and expand our horizons. Witnessing one of the rarest and most unique astronomical events of our time should align with Miami’s vision for student learning and experience. 

Perhaps I’m a bit of a science nerd, and perhaps I’m a bit of a romantic when it comes to lived experiences, but I feel that students should not have to worry about anything else but viewing the eclipse and staying safe this Monday. 

Cancel classes Miami. This is bigger than a couple of missed lectures. Let us witness one of the greatest natural wonders our world has to offer.

Sam Norton is a third-year honors student majoring in biology with an environmental science co-major and journalism minor. He has been writing for The Student since his first year, won a regional SPJ award for his opinion columns, and is currently the GreenHawks and Opinion Editor.