Snowfall clobbers campus … again

Students at the University got a snow day, albeit only a partial one.

by Emily Cutts

University of Minnesota undergrad Candice Hafalia-Yackel showed up Monday for her afternoon class like she would have any other, albeit less snowy, day âÄî only to realize it had been canceled.

Like many others at the University, Hafalia-YackelâÄôs professor had sent out an e-mail calling off class because of the weather and likely commuting issues.

Students received University-wide e-mails and text message alerts Sunday night notifying them that classes held before noon were canceled.

Sophomore Daniel Thompson said he found out about the late start through Facebook. He used the morning to stay in bed and watch television shows online.

Mali Collins woke up at 5 a.m. to work out at the University Recreation Center before going to class. Having turned off her cell phone the night before, she didnâÄôt realize that her first two classes of the day were canceled. But once she figured it out she said she went back to sleep.

MondayâÄôs late start was the first of its kind this season despite the fact that 72.9 inches of snow have fallen in Minneapolis-St. Paul this winter, making it an above-average season for snowfall.

The University declares so few snow days that administrators donâÄôt even keep track of the dates. University spokesman Dan Wolter said he was not aware of any full snow days since the 1990s.

“WeâÄôve been hearing a lot of people surprised that we opened late at all because typically it is not something that is done regularly,” Wolter said.

Wolter said the decision to cancel class is usually made the night before. University officials are in contact with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to find out road conditions, Metro Transit to find out bus scheduling and the UniversityâÄôs landcare facilities to make sure they are keeping up with clearing the snow.

Collins said it was nice to have a snow day. “Madison got one, we deserve one.”

Earlier this month, University of Wisconsin students had their first full snow day in years. Spokeswoman Liz Beyler said the school had a snow day Feb. 2 during which most things were closed due to an expected blizzard.

Madison received more than a foot of snow as well as heavy winds. Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in 29 of WisconsinâÄôs 72 counties.

Across the state

With more snow expected Monday night, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for southeast Minnesota. The report said 1 to 3 more inches was expected between noon and midnight on Monday.

The city of St. Paul declared a snow emergency Sunday while the city of Minneapolis waited until Monday.

It was the eighth snow emergency Minneapolis has declared this winter.