Tech classes cancelled due to extreme weather


Snow blankets campus around the MEEM, lowering visibility.

Mason Liagre, Lode Writer

An unexpected announcement came to Tech students the night of Tuesday, Jan. 21: Classes would be cancelled the next day.

It’s well known by students that MTU almost never cancels classes due to extreme weather. It hasn’t happened in six years. The policy has actually become a point of pride for many- when asked for opinion Tuesday morning on why other schools had cancelled and Tech hadn’t, one freshman replied simply, “They’re wimps.”

“We never close,” said junior Jake Knott. Recalling last summer’s flood, he said, “You couldn’t get to Lake Linden. And we still had class. Tenacity.”

It appears that even tenacity has its limit, and that limit is negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill. That’s nothing to sneeze at-frostbite can occur in these conditions in a matter of minutes. Wind chill has a real effect on the body, more than just signifying how cold it “feels.” It is a measure of how quickly heat leaves the body from exposed skin, and determines how dangerous it is outside more accurately than the real temperature. Early signs of frostbite include a prickling sensation in the affected area. Discolored skin follows, appearing blue, white or greyish yellow. Make sure to bundle up thoroughly if you’re going outside.

Before the announcement that classes were suspended at MTU, other schools had made similar announcements this week and last week. Finlandia University, Eastern Michigan University, Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan all closed before us. Even government buildings closed, including Michigan’s Capitol.

Michigan Tech doesn’t have an official temperature or snowfall level at which school is closed. Rather, the president, provost or vice president can make the executive decision to suspend classes when they deem it appropriate. The full policy can be found here.