Sunday night, University of Wisconsin announced that despite the City of Madison declaring a snow emergency and that there was a winter storm warning in effect, classes would not be canceled.
This announcement caused an immediate backlash on both Facebook and Twitter from students, alumni and professors. The university’s statement on Facebook garnered hundreds of comments, many criticizing UW’s judgement.
The snow emergency was declared Sunday afternoon after an additional one to two inches of snow was forecasted to pile onto Madison’s current 5 inches. According to the National Weather Service, this will last at least until Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for south-central Wisconsin that will last until 6 p.m. Monday night.
On Twitter, many users commented about how unfair it is for commuters and those with mobility issues to be forced to brave the elements and put at risk their personal safety. One user, Alex Elgas, stressed the threat to safety the current weather conditions hold.
Not to mention those who use disability resources are still going to be expected to come in since it’s only the second week. I’m risking my HEALTH because you can’t follow suit as an institution and put students first.
— Alex Elgas (@DeathBelowAlex) January 28, 2019
In response to these concerns, the UW Twitter and Facebook accounts urged students to contact their professors or department chair if they are unable to make it to class.
Another concern expressed on social media was the expected windchill of -55°F this Wednesday. UW has announced they will continue to monitor the weather but has yet to cancel Wednesday’s classes.
Some UW students are not waiting around for UW to announce whether or not it will be open, like Twitter user Lauren Senger who kept her response to UW brief.
i’m not coming bye
— Lern🌸 (@LaurenSenger156) January 28, 2019