Professors Cancel Classes as Storm Blankets Cambridge

My Class is Across the Yard
Students walk through Harvard Yard during yet another fierce snowstorm on Wednesday.

The University remained open Wednesday, though more than ten inches of slushy snow that fell across Boston caused professors at Harvard and other area universities to cancel classes and close offices.

Early Wednesday morning, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences sent an inclement weather update notifying students and faculty that despite the heavy snowfall, classes within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences would continue as normal. According to the update, morning classes at the Division of Continuing Education were cancelled.

Some faculty members, however, chose to cancel their Wednesday classes and events at their own discretion.

According to Gavin S. Sullivan ’17, a student in Greek 110r: “Plato’s Symposium,” the course was cancelled because the professor was wary of commuting to campus in the snow.


“My professor said he was unable to come to school due to the conditions,” Sullivan said, adding that he received an email from the professor, Albert M. Henrichs, around 8:30 a.m. “He pointed out that he lives kind of far from the university, and it wouldn't be safe for him to make the trek out.”

Reid A. Grinspoon ’17, a student in Modern Hebrew 120b: “Intermediate Hebrew II,” said the news that class was cancelled “was awesome.”

“I went right back to sleep,” Grinspoon said.

“I wished all my classes were cancelled today,” said Katherine E. Pinkas ’16, a student in History of Science 149v: “Explaining Epidemics.” The course was cancelled because the instructor, Aaron P. Mauck, a lecturer in the History of Science Department, could not commute to campus. Pinkas’s other classes were not cancelled, and she said she was frustrated by the difficulty of moving around campus in the storm.

“Overall, though, I think it was smart not to cancel classes for the whole day because the afternoon turned out fine,” Pinkas said.

Several universities in the Boston area cancelled all classes and closed administrative offices on Wednesday, including Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, and Tufts University. Each school cited the timing of the storm as a major reason for its decision. The heaviest snowfall was in the morning and mid-afternoon, making commutes difficult.

Harvard has historically been reluctant to cancel classes in the wake of heavy snow. The University has only closed facilities once since 1978 due to blizzard conditions: at noon on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in the wake of “super-storm” Nemo.

Yet for the few students whose professors did cancel classes, the snow day roused memories of childhood.

“I was excited,” said Sullivan. “It felt like I was back in high school in Chicago. I miss getting that phone call in the morning and hearing that there is no school.”

–Staff writer Karl M. Aspelund can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kma_crimson.

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on twitter @Meg_Bernhard.


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