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February 4, 2013

Semester begins with campus closure from extreme weather

By Jordan Gonzalez

@jordanrgonzo

Cleveland State University administration closed school from 4 p.m. on Jan. 27 through Jan. 28 due to an extreme cold front that blasted through Northeast Ohio during the third week of the semester.

The closing came after a previous early closing on Jan. 2 and a full closing on Jan. 3. Both were due to a post-New Year’s Day snowstorm and bitter temperatures and were before the spring semester began.

Cleveland State senior writer and spokesman John Soeder said it was for faculty and staff.

Cleveland State’s campus re-opened on Jan. 29.

Soeder said last semester there were no closings, and that he doesn’t remember a time recently when school was canceled due to extreme cold.

“Cleveland itself has not seen this kind of extremely cold weather in many years,” Soeder said.

The last time Cleveland State closed for extremely cold weather was about 20 years ago, according to Joseph Han, assistant vice president of facilities and safety.

Several students wondered why school wasn’t canceled on Jan. 29, since it also featured temperatures that flirted with the negatives along with an intense wind chill. Soeder said the decision was made on Jan. 27 to cancel classes from 4 p.m. through Jan. 28, with classes resuming on Jan. 29.

“The decision took into account the fact that weather forecasts were calling for temperatures to begin increasing gradually on Wednesday.”

Gov. John Kasich recently advised state officials to create legislation that would allow for more “calamity days” for this year due to the extreme cold spells that have chilled the northern states this year.

“When you lose a number of days because of extreme weather conditions, you risk exceeding the quota of five so-called “calamity days” allowed for school districts in Ohio,” Soeder said. “In light of this year’s especially harsh winter, Gov. John Kasich has urged legislators to approve a one-time increase in the number of calamity days.”

Thirty-five institutions across Cuyahoga County closed on January 27. There were 57 more closings in 12 other counties, including the University of Akron and Kent State University.

Kent State opened Jan. 29 but had a delay until 10 a.m. for their classes; Akron reopened Jan. 29 all day.

Many elementary and high schools remained closed all day on Jan. 29.