Despite seeing the largest snowfall of the winter so far, classes went on at Ohio State’s main campus Wednesday, something that didn’t sit well with some students.
“Class should have been canceled because I almost slipped like 10 times while coming to class,” said Shannon Gardner, a second-year in psychology. “This morning, I honestly felt like it was dangerous to walk.”
Undergraduate Student Government President Taylor Stepp, a fourth-year in public affairs, said he was disappointed the university stayed open.
“Even High Street was a mess, and the side streets were just terrible, and I think that’s very, very dangerous, especially when some of the snow had iced over,” Stepp said. “So I was very unhappy to see that we still were open. My inherent concern isn’t necessarily with the people walking, though there’s a danger in that too, but with everyone who had to drive.”
In an email Wednesday afternoon, Lindsay Komlanc, OSU spokeswoman for Administration and Planning, said the university had received two calls about people who had slipped and fell on campus. One garnered an emergency medical service response, but Komlanc said the information about the call didn’t show whether the person was transported.
Some professors took matters into their own hands, choosing to cancel their classes, and some students gave themselves a “snow day.”
“I didn’t go to class anyways,” said Bobby Jubak, a fourth-year in health information management. “I just had one class this morning and my teacher said, ‘If you don’t want to come, don’t come.’”
Jubak said the weather was severe enough to warrant OSU to close and said he stayed up until 3 a.m. the night before to help others dig out snow from around their cars.
Though many classes went on as planned, the university encouraged leniency in taking attendance.
OSU’s Emergency Management office released a statement Wednesday morning encouraging supervisors and faculty “to use flexibility for those who cannot make it to campus due to weather conditions.”
There were also instances of “minor property damage crashes” involving cars Wednesday, Komlanc said. She added that the number of crashes that happened Wednesday was not yet available as of Wednesday evening because the “information won’t be finalized until the reports are officially logged into the system.”
About 6.9 inches of snow and sleet fell in Columbus Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service, along with a layer of freezing rain early Wednesday morning.
The weather left a good deal of work for OSU crews, who began plowing and treating campus roads and sidewalks Tuesday night, Komlanc said. At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, the focus switched to salting roadways and sidewalks around campus. Crews remained working to salt and remove ice at about 4:20 p.m., Komlanc said, and would continue “as long as necessary.”
OSU’s Newark campus was the only branch campus to witness a full closure Wednesday, although Wooster and Lima campuses canceled morning classes.
OSU’s main campus has canceled classes three days in 2014. Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Steinmetz sent an email Jan. 29 giving professors permission to use the day before exams, known as reading day, to make up classes or to use Feb. 8 and 15, both Saturdays, for seven-week classes.