Eastern Michigan University’s morning classes were canceled until 12:30 p.m. Monday due to poor weather and icy roads.
According to the university’s weather policy, EMU President Susan Martin decides whether the university closes during severe weather conditions after consulting with the Physical Plant Division and the Department of Public Safety.
EMU Chief of Police Bob Heighes said ground maintenance workers try to clear all walking and parking areas for students and faculty.
“Officers do evaluations on campus lots, sidewalks and streets near and on campus to determine whether it’s safe for commuters and for people to walk,” Heighes said. “The decision had to be made before 6 a.m. and sent out via media, alerts and email.”
EMU’s weather policy also said classes will continue as long as reasonable conditions can be maintained on campus.
EMU Vice President of Communications Walter Kraft said the
university focuses on the safety of students, faculty and staff, which includes commuters and those who live on campus.
“All forecasts made clear that this was going to be an early morning issue, and that later in the morning temperatures would rise above freezing,” Kraft said. “That is why the decision was made to begin classes at 12:30 p.m., once the weather advisory had been lifted, temperatures had risen and our maintenance teams were able to clear campus walkways and parking areas.”
Some commuter students had differing opinions about the university’s decision.
Freshman education major Reem Aabed said she has a 45-minute commute and was disappointed she had to drive to campus for only one 50-minute class.
“Walking on campus was hard because the sidewalks were extremely slippery,” Aabed said. “I think they should cancel the whole day, because commuters might have just one class so it’s not really worth the drive.”
EMU senior Eileen Olech, a secondary education in communication and theater arts major, said her commute has dropped to 15 minutes compared to 30-45 minutes in previous years, but she had been driving 35 miles per hour on the freeway the night before. She said she was OK with the decision to cancel morning classes.
“I could only imagine how the morning commute would have been for many other commuter students,” Olech said. “I’m at the point where I don’t like to miss class because it piles on more work.”
Senior international affairs major Amin Al-Qadi said he has a 10-minute commute to EMU.
“I’m glad we had morning classes canceled,” Al-Qadi said. “The roads were still really icy and it was dangerous.”
For more information regarding the university’s weather policy visit: www.emich.edu/univcomm/weatherpolicy.php.
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