Half victory for no-class wishers

Tracy Deutmeyer

Those Iowa State students hugging their radios, hoping to hear the sweet word “canceled” Thursday morning scored a partial victory.

University officials called off Thursday morning classes but afternoon courses went on as scheduled, though professors reported an unusually light student load.

John Anderson, interim director of university relations, said morning classes were canceled by administrators at 5:45 a.m. on Thursday because of extreme cold and blowing snow.

Local wind chills dipped to about 60 degrees below zero, while high temperatures didn’t make it out of the single digits. A mild warming trend is expected.

Afternoon classes were not canceled because administrators were informed that conditions would improve as the day progressed.

“Weather service reports indicated conditions were not going to be as severe in the afternoon, particularly the wind,” Anderson said. “Traveling conditions were not as bad in the afternoon.”

Anderson said on days when class cancellation is considered, administrators check a variety of different sources.

“Administrators get in contact with the weather service, law enforcement officials and city services,” he said. “They try to gather as much information as possible about conditions.”

Class cancellation decisions are made by ISU President Martin Jischke, Vice President for Business and Finance Warren Madden and Provost John Kozak.

It may only have been a half-day off, but many Iowa State students still had no problem finding ways to occupy their time.

Joki Kwok, a senior in hotel management, said she stayed at home where it was warm.

“I just stayed home in the dormitories and did laundry. Nothing special,” she said.

Most students rejoiced at the no-class announcement, but many said it did not greatly affect their schedules.

Dan Friend, a senior in electrical engineering, said he only got out of one class.

“It was not that big of a thing. I slept in a little later, but I only had one class today at 11 o’clock,” he said.

Stephanie Ahrenholtz, a freshman in agriculture studies, said she also only missed one class. “I think if they were going to cancel class, they should have canceled it all day,” she said.

Several students apparently took it upon themselves to cancel their afternoon classes, taking the whole day off.

Brad Hoglund, a senior in industrial technology, said he had an 8 a.m. class and a class at 4 p.m. He stayed home for both.

“I had an 8 o’clock class, and when I found out classes were canceled, I went back to bed,” he said. “I had a 4 o’clock class, but since I live in Ankeny, I decided to stay home.”

If the meteorologists are correct, students won’t get another unplanned day off anytime in the immediate future.

Brad Edwards, a WOI-TV meteorologist, said temperatures will continue to rise over the weekend.

Friday’s temperatures should reach a high of 15 degrees. Saturday’s high is expected to be about 25 degrees and Sunday will likely be warmer still.