Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Michigan State suspends classes for seventh time in school history

January 29, 2019
<p>The Spartan Statue gets a dusting of snow on Jan. 28, 2019. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor declared a snow emergency on the same day due to the inclement weather.</p>

The Spartan Statue gets a dusting of snow on Jan. 28, 2019. Lansing Mayor Andy Schor declared a snow emergency on the same day due to the inclement weather.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Michigan State cancelled classes Wednesday and Thursday for the first time since 2014, prompted by subzero temperatures and wind chills expected to be as low as 45 degrees below zero. Only critical employees reported to work. 

This is the seventh time in the 164-year history of the university that classes have been cancelled, with the entire university except critical operations being shut down in 1967, 1975, 1978, 1994, 2011 and 2014.

According to an official statement on MSU’s website, the parameters for classes to be cancelled include wind chills below 20 degrees or winds reaching 75 mph (a Category 1 hurricane sustains winds of 74 mph). 

Here’s a look at some of the previous storms that have caused classes to be cancelled:

Jan. 27, 1967 — The expected six to eight inches of snow turned into 24, causing evening classes to be cancelled Jan. 26, and MSU's first ever shutdown the next day. 

April 3, 1975 — Classes were cancelled when a spring snowstorm hit East Lansing, leaving behind almost 13 inches of snow. Winds picked up to 35 mph, and created 6-foot-tall snow drifts, which lead to road closures and restrictions. This marked the second occasion in which the university was shut down. 

Jan. 26 and 27, 1978 — The university completely shut down after a blizzard left the Lansing area covered in nearly 18 inches of snow. 

Jan. 19, 1994 — Classes were cancelled after students protested outside of President M. Peter McPherson’s residence at Cowles House, chanting “Hell no, it's 40 below” and “Frostbite is not right.” Temperatures reached minus 20 degrees with wind chills in the evening hitting minus 60 degrees, the only other time MSU has cancelled classes due to extreme cold.

Feb. 2, 2011 — MSU shut down for the fourth time in its history after reports that 10-16 inches of snow were to be expected. This coupled with the frigid temperatures caused the university to cancel classes. 

Jan. 6 and 7, 2014 — University activities were shut down and students had an extra day and a half of winter break as a snowstorm and bitter cold temperatures left campus frozen. University operations resumed at noon on Jan. 7 and classes began after 5 p.m.

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