With gusts topping more than 60 miles per hour, Hurricane Sandy brought down branches, power lines, and several midterms. For the first time in 34 years, Harvard University suspended classes due to inclement weather on Monday.
Though professors were not required to come to campus, the University continued its “core operations”—including normal dining and shuttle services for undergraduates—requiring dining hall workers, shuttle drivers, and facilities workers to report for duty despite the storm.
Donald Ford, a facility maintenance operations employee working in the Yard Monday afternoon, said he and his co-workers were “basically waiting for something to happen.”
The dining hall restrictions in Adams and Quincy and the upperclassmen restriction at Annenberg were suspended. Alison Farley, the general manager of the Cabot and Pforzheimer House dining halls, said she saw more students than usual in the dining halls.
“It’s been pretty busy. All the kids are here, so we’ve been working to make sure they’re well-fed,” Farley said.
Chad Campo, chef and production manager of Leverett House, said that all Leverett dining hall workers except one had been able to make it into work. The MBTA closed its operations at 2 p.m. on Monday, allowing workers to use the transportation to commute to work.
“We already determined carpool scenarios,” said Campo.
The University worked in coordination with Harvard University Dining Services to determine the best way to help staff during the emergency, according to an email from Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesperson Jeff Neal.
HUDS also offered to put workers up in hotels if they would not be able to travel home, Neal wrote in the email.
Students showed their appreciation of dining hall workers by holding standing ovations in several campus dining halls Monday night.
As a result of Monday’s canceled classes, many courses also pushed back midterms and papers.
Kyle T. H. Flattery ’15 was supposed to have two midterms, one for Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology 10: “Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology” and the other for Chemistry 17: “Principles of Organic Chemistry,” on Monday.
The University announced its decision to cancel classes around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, and by 11:00 p.m., both midterms had been rescheduled for later this week.
After hearing his tests had been postponed, Flattery decided to turn Hurricane Sandy’s arrival into a “sleeping-in day.”
“It’s strange to be so happy about a natural disaster,” Flattery said.