Ridiculously cold weather closes campus Wednesday

A+Kent+State+student+walks+along+Kent+States+front+campus+on+Tuesday%2C+Jan.+29%2C+2019.

A Kent State student walks along Kent State’s front campus on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.

Valerie Royzman

Kent State’s main campus will be closed Wednesday due to severe weather, the university announced in an email Tuesday afternoon.

“The Kent Campus will be closed, and all classes are canceled, for Wednesday, Jan. 30, due to the expected extreme weather conditions,” the email said. “Forecasted temperatures and wind chills are expected to dip to dangerously low levels, creating unsafe weather conditions.”

Wednesday’s high is predicted to be 1 degree with a low of 6 degrees below zero, coupled with a predicted wind chill of minus 35 degrees, according to the Weather Channel.

The campus closes when snow and/or ice threatens, or extreme cold prevails, according to the university’s website. Kent State delays or cancels when the wind chill reaches 20 degrees below zero for an extended period.

Though classes will be canceled, university services will remain open. Staff members are still expected to report to work Wednesday.

The email also provided information on what on-campus facilities will remain open:

“Residential dining areas will remain open; refer to the Dining Services website for updated hours of operation for all dining locations for Jan. 30. The Kent Student Center will be open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center will also remain open, but scheduled programs in the center will be canceled. The University Library will close at 11 p.m. tonight, Jan. 29, and will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with limited services on Jan. 30. Please note, University Health Services will be closed.

The National Weather Service has a wind chill warning in effect for Portage County from 1 a.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Thursday. According to the Weather Service, Wednesday could be the first time since January 1994 that the high will remain at or below zero degrees. The lows on Wednesday and Thursday could be the lowest temperatures in Portage County since February 2015 and could also break daily records.

Some Kent State students created petitions to close the university this week.

Senior advertising major Allan Vyssotsky’s petition asks Kent State to cancel classes on Wednesday, “the day of the most extreme weather temperatures.”

“It is too dangerous to be outside in this cold for an extended period of time, so why should students be forced to go to class? … Students pay thousands of dollars a semester to attend KSU, please do not put our health at risk,” the petition says.

As of 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, 1,067 people signed the petition.

Another petition from Yorel Stowers, a freshman athletic training major, also called for the university to close campus Wednesday. Thirty-three people signed the petition as of the same time Tuesday.

Campus may close Thursday. The university will make a decision by Wednesday at 3 p.m., said Eric Mansfield, the executive director of media relations.

The Weather Channel predicts a high of 8 degrees Thursday.

Valerie Royzman is the editor-in-chief. Contact her at [email protected]

Henry Palattella, the sports editor, contributed to this story.