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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Extreme cold to be monitored for potential Wednesday cancellation

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Students trek through the snow on the first day of cancelled classes in five years.

After classes were canceled Monday due to heavy snowfall, university leaders are closely monitoring the weather for potential future cancellations.

Acting provost Kimo Ah Yun said university officials began monitoring the weather early Sunday. The university made the announcement via email to students, faculty and staff around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night. Milwaukee received between 8 to 12 inches of snow Monday, according to estimates released by the National Weather Service.

“(For Monday’s classes) we waited until the last report of the 10 o’clock news,” Ah Yun said. “A bunch of us were watching and texting back and forth. It was clear that the weather conditions were not going to improve.”

The temperature is expected to drop Wednesday to between 40 and 50 degrees below zero with windchill, according to the National Weather Service. While Ah Yun said Monday’s cancellation was for snow, he said a cancellation on Wednesday would be due to the dangers of extreme cold. 

Ah Yun said he is already discussing potential Wednesday class cancellation with Marquette University Police Department and vice president of student affairs Xavier Cole.

The decision to cancel class begins with MUPD and then goes to Cole, who makes a recommendation to the provost, Ah Yun said.

It looks like from all indications Tuesday will be fine, so long as weather conditions don’t change substantially,” Ah Yun said. “We will have some decision by Tuesday night whether or not classes will be canceled on Wednesday.”

Ah Yun said the decision to cancel Wednesday classes will be made by 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and will be sent to students, faculty and staff via email.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Mikey Zadroga (left), a senior in the College of Communication, and Megan Cote, a senior in the College Health Sciences, walk along 16th Street Monday morning.

Before Monday, the last time classes were canceled due to extreme weather conditions was Jan. 27, 2014, university spokesperson Chris Stolarski said.

The cancellation occurred during an intense winter storm in 2014, which had wind gusts of 30 to 60 mph as well as wind chill values between 30 and 50 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service.

Sarah Marquardt, a meteorologist for NWS, said it is important for everyone to limit their time outside as much as possible as temperatures drop in the coming days.

“The heavy snow is a danger for the roads and travel, but with the stretch of cold weather coming up, frostbite can occur within minutes, as well as hypothermia,” Marquardt said.

With the windchill factored in, Marquardt said there has not been a day as cold as Wednesday in Milwaukee since 1996.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Some students spent their day off going for a run, while others walked through the fresh snowfall.

The weather conditions affected campus services Monday, and this could continue with extreme weather expected in the coming days.

Some dining halls had different hours Monday in order to ensure the safety of their workers, according to a post on the Marquette Dining Services Facebook page.

The post said that dining halls operated on weekend hours Monday. Straz dining hall was closed, and Schroeder dining hall was only open for dinner, the Facebook post said. The Commons remained open throughout the night and morning, while Cobeen, the Alumni Memorial Union Brew and Tory Hill opened as staff arrived.

“We will do everything we can to get as many facilities up and running as staffing allows,” the Facebook post read. “We will provide updates via social media. Thank you for your understanding (and) we will do our best!”

Stolarski said the following facilities and departments will remain open if conditions continue to warrant class cancellation: Marquette University Police Department, Facilities Planning and Management, the Rec Plex and Rec Center, Marquette University Medical Clinic, Information Technology Services, the Alumni Memorial Union, University Dining Services and Raynor Memorial Libraries.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg
Leng Yang, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, walks through the snow Monday morning outside Sobelman’s.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee cancelled all Monday day and evening classes, as well as all student activities, for its campus locations in Milwaukee, Washington County and Waukesha. The University of Wisconsin-Madison remained open Monday.

Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and Milwaukee School of Engineering also canceled all Monday day and evening classes.

The Milwaukee County Transit System closed its administrative building Monday, and the MCTS website advised riders to expect delays on Monday’s bus routes.

Marisa Baldwin, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she was grateful Marquette chose to cancel classes Monday.

“I was truly scared that I was going to have to either walk to class and freeze or miss class and receive a negative mark with one or some of my professors,” Baldwin said.

Deissy Flores, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said it was comforting to know she didn’t have to step outside in the snowstorm.

“I think Marquette’s decision was made in a timely manner, enough time for us students to plan out our day,” Flores said.

Baldwin said weather conditions dangerous for commuters should constitute class cancellation. Approximately 7 percent of all full-time, first-year students are commuters as of fall 2018, according to data from the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis.

“I think class cancellations should happen when students and professors are at danger just by being outside in order to get to class,” Flores said.

Baldwin said cancellation Wednesday may be necessary with the extreme windchill.

“These conditions are too dangerous for students and faculty to be enduring, even for a 10-minute walk,” Baldwin said.

Patricia Rivera Morales, a freshman in the College of Education, said the university should have a backup plan to prevent students from missing out on learning opportunities during class cancellations.

“They should either extend classes into the summer months or find a way for professors to do online lectures for that period of time,” Morales said.

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