Snow day for U students not likely this week

The U has had two weather-related class cancellations in 20 years.

Mackenzie Martin

When winter weather sets in and roads get bad, students of all ages cross their fingers in hopes of a snow day. But students at the University of Minnesota know theyâÄôll probably have to tough it out. MondayâÄôs snow led to dozens of weather-related school closings across the state. Not surprising to most, however, the University stayed open. âÄúWe live in Minnesota,âÄù said Robin Kinblom, a University senior studying economics. âÄúIt should be expected.âÄù The University has canceled regular classes only twice in the past 20 years, said University spokesman Dan Wolter, and in one of those cases, classes werenâÄôt canceled until 2 p.m. The last time the University closed was in March 2007. Ridgewater College closed Monday afternoon because of the snow âÄî a decision left up to the discretion of the president of each individual school within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, said Melinda Voss, MnSCU public relations director. âÄúThere is no policy that says, âÄòIf X, Y and Z occur, we will cancel classes,âÄô âÄù said Sam Bowen, public relations director at Ridgewater. At the University, the decision is made by Provost Tom Sullivan based on consultation with Vice President of University Services Kathleen OâÄôBrien, Wolter said. But while the University of Minnesota is located in a metropolitan area, RidgewaterâÄôs rural locations in Willmar, Minn., and Hutchinson, Minn., make âÄúa significant differenceâÄù when considering transportation hazards, Bowen said. âÄúWeâÄôre a community college,âÄù he said. âÄúOur students travel here whether itâÄôs from down the block or three counties away.âÄù Two-thirds of University faculty, staff and students get to campus by means other than driving themselves, Wolter said, making the decision very dependent on the city transportation services. Wolter said that although canceling University classes for the current snowstorm has been discussed, he would classify it as âÄúunlikelyâÄù given the schoolâÄôs record. âÄúWeâÄôre monitoring the situation,âÄù Wolter said.