With a blizzard of “historic” proportions bearing down in the Northeast, Yale classes have been canceled due to snow.
From 6 p.m. Monday evening through Tuesday, no classes will be held, according to a Monday afternoon email from Emergency Management officials. Senior Advisor to the President Martha Highsmith and Director of Emergency Management Maria Bouffard said the decision was made after conferring with deans of the various schools.
“The storm remains dangerous,” the email stated. “Connecticut state officials have reiterated that we should expect wind gusts of up to 60 miles an hour, dangerous wind chills, and heavy snow … The safety of the members of our community is the highest priority.”
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy declared a state of emergency Monday and subsequently issued a travel ban beginning at 9 p.m. Monday. As of 10 p.m. Monday night, the National Weather Service was predicting total nighttime snow accumulation of 10 to 16 possible inches in New Haven, with seven to 11 more possible inches on Tuesday.
In an email to the News, Highsmith added that when the governor declares a state of emergency and bans non-essential travel on all state roads, University business cannot carry on as usual.
Only staff performing critical functions — “responsible for life, health, safety, patient care, clinical operations and security” — are required to work on Tuesday, the email from Highsmith and Bouffard stated. Urgent care will continue to operate at Yale Health. Yale Shuttle and door-to-door Safe Rides were suspending Monday night at 9 p.m.
Dining halls remained open through dinner on Monday, and students were given meal packages Monday night to get them through Tuesday when neither the residential colleges nor Commons would be open for service.
Highsmith and Bouffard said a curfew for on-campus students is possible, should the storm create life-threatening conditions. Their email also stated that classes would hopefully resume on Wednesday and that the Yale Community would be kept up to date throughout the day on Tuesday.
In a Monday morning email to students in Jonathan Edwards College, Master Penelope Laurans said students living off campus are invited to stay in the college’s common room if they did not wish to stay in their residences.
Alex Zhang ’18 said he appreciated the level of preparedness he had witnessed from the University, particularly because, as a student from Arkansas, this is the most snow he has seen in life.
Bianka Ukleja ’18 said that although she is happy to have the day off school, her suitemates and her were immediately concerned about food supplies and went to the grocery store early this afternoon.
Ukleja was not alone. Within minutes of Highsmith and Bouffard’s email, students were seen lining up at both Gourmet Heaven locations and Durfee’s. While some joked that student reactions might have been somewhat exaggerated given the fact that dining halls would only be closed for one day, others said they would rather be safe than sorry.
Henry Tisch ’16 said he had never seen Gourmet Heaven busier, and added that there were 25 to 30 people standing in line and the store was visibly starting to run out of stock.
Yet, despite canceled classes, some club sports, including women’s club soccer and crew, continued with practices through early Monday evening.
Even bid night for the Yale Panhellenic Council — scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Monday night — had not been canceled for rushees willing to brave the snow.
Spanish professor Margherita Tortora said she plans to use her snow day making soups and baked apples, adding that the snow day will not significantly interfere with her schedule. It will not be difficult to reschedule classes around her students’ schedules, Tortora said.
Yale canceled classes for two days in February 2013 due to snow.