Eastern Michigan University students were met with cold temperatures and a slick commute to and through campus with freezing rain hitting that area in the evening on Jan. 22.
Campus was covered in sheets of ice, and road conditions in the area were affected by the rain freezing the ground and cars.
“I think it is super dangerous,” junior Lauren Antle on her walk to class said. “The fact that people are walking through the snow and grass because the sheet of ice on the sidewalk. Last year when it was like [this], I was hanging onto two complete strangers to get to Pray-Harrold.”
The freezing rain started around 6 p.m. with the lowest temperature earlier in that day being 2 degrees below zero. Although not as cold when the freezing rain started, this temperature was cold enough throughout the day to cause frozen surfaces. This continued on and off until around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday Jan. 23.
Makenzie Williams, a senior at EMU, also found the conditions unsettling.
“It is ridiculous,” she said. “We are mostly a commuter school and to expect people to walk and drive on the ice is not ok. The only reason I did not have class is because my professor drove into a ravine.”
An anonymous member of the EMU community did not have an easy commute either. “The weather made it longer, and I was late getting in,” they said. “I had to jog through the snow to try to be on time, but getting through the center of campus was not easy.”
Washtenaw Community College (WCC) did close morning classes due to the weather. “The WCC main campus is closed on Wednesday Jan. 23 due to weather conditions,” WCC said in a tweet. “The college’s Brighton and Hartland are also closed.”
In another tweet, WCC added: “Update: The WCC main campus will open for business at 1 p.m. today, Wednesday, Jan 23. Afternoon and evening classes scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and later will meet as scheduled. Employees scheduled to work should report to campus by 1 p.m.”
EMU’s campus and classes, however, took place as normal.
“I feel like they should have salted the sidewalks more than they did,” EMU student Anthony Copley said. “I’m also a commuter and drive 35 minutes, so I risk a lot coming to classes when the weather is this bad,” he continued.
The icy, snowy walkways don’t just affect the main campus, according to Taylor Maruca who was at the College of Business the day after the worst of the weather. “They didn’t salt the ramp to get into the building, and I saw a student with a walker who had to use the stairs to get in,” she explained. “The walkways are already hazarding for able-bodied students but can be even more difficult for students who need assistive devices to walk or get around.”