Eastern Michigan University closed classes for three days last week due to extreme weather conditions, making it too dangerous for students and faculty to commute to campus as well as a safety concern to travel across campus.
The announcement on EMU’s Twitter account said: “Eastern Michigan University to close today, Jan. 28, due to weather conditions.” This along with updates on event closures and what dining options were available for those living on campus were announced.
Safety was the main priority, but the weather still had an impact on students.
“The weather really sucked,” Cameron Santangelo, a junior on campus, said. “I live in Hoyt Hall, so walking to some of the other dining areas like the Commons was almost impossible. I wish they would have prepared more for the weather. I ended up going home because the hall was that cold.”
Jesse Kuczynski, a senior at EMU, said: “It threw a wrench in my daily routine. I am sort of trained to go about the same path but not having to go to class or work threw me off.”
Not having work can be a struggle for many students, but it was closed for the safety of the faculty and students, not just on campus but commuters as well, which Kuczynski found reassuring. “That was my biggest concern going into this week,” Kuczynski said. “I didn’t lose that many hours, and the university being closed saved me as well as others from being in dangerous temperatures.”
Classes were closed last Monday due to heavy snowfall the previous evening, and classes on Wednesday and Thursday were closed due to extreme cold with Wednesday never having the temperature reach above zero degrees. The lowest temperature reached around minus 18 degrees before windchill in the early morning on Thursday.
Students were not the only ones affected by the university’s closures; there were instructors and professors who were not able to teach classes throughout the week.
“I teach a class on Mondays and Fridays, but I was not set back as one might think,” professor Markham Isler said. “I know my class and have taught it before. During the winter semester, I always keep in the back of my mind that a class could get canceled. My biggest concern for the class is ‘will my students be out of sync with the workflow.’ We had two weeks off for my Monday classes because of MLK day.”
Isler’s explained that his class is not a defined structure; he can move his class around but felt sympathy for those instructors with classes that are more linear.
“You can’t move around the curriculum in a different order for a trigonometry class and expect it to make sense,” Isler said.
Eastern Michigan was not the only school that closed as the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College and Concordia University also had closures on Wednesday and Thursday. Michigan weather, not to be stagnate for long, saw a near 70-degree temperature change from Thursday to Sunday, reaching a high of 51 degrees with it staying in the mid-forties after that.