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UW-Madison resumes classes despite temperatures still below 0

MADISON (WKOW) – It’s not often college kids get a snow day – especially at UW-Madison.

There have been only a dozen instances of weather affecting anything at the university in more than 50 years. The cancellation of classes from Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon marks one of the longest consecutive amounts of time UW-Madison has been closed due to weather.

But Thursday at 1 p.m., classes finally resumed – and students weren’t thrilled for their cold afternoon trek.

“I have class at 1:45 to 4:15 and I forgot my stuff and have to go get it in my dorm room and can’t walk,” said first-year UW-Madison student Olivia Smith, who was standing outside shivering with her friends.

University officials said that the decision to resume classes Thursday afternoon was not easy.

“One of the big decisions obviously was when and how to reopen,” said university spokesperson Meredith McGlone. “We’re guided most of all by the forecast, specifically when the wind chills were going to be lessening and when it would be safe for people to get outside.”

The wind chill warning that was in effect for the area surrounding the UW-Madison campus was downgraded to a wind chill advisory at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Still, temperatures were dangerously cold, never reaching above 0 degrees.

“One of my eyes froze shut this morning while I was walking to Starbucks,” said first-year UW-Madison student Caroline Hunken.

McGlone said that even with the missed classroom time, students were still able to complete many assignments.

“A lot of folks can at least do some things online, so we have a little bit more flexibility than we did 10 years ago even,” she said.

Unfortunately, UW-Madison sophomore Erin Haage’s internet went out in her apartment Wednesday, so she had to use her phone’s data to do homework.

“I woke up and Charter emailed us and said that it was down for the day and it was down until this morning,” she said. Luckily, she said she didn’t miss much — in part because of how early it is in the semester.

While students may be unhappy to be out in the cold, UW-Madison junior Alex Graham admitted (reluctantly) that it was probably best to get back to class.

“I had a whole day to hang out and do homework,” he said. “I think it’s kind of weird that they would start at 1 o’clock… but it’s better not to get behind.”

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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