The University of Colorado closed at 2 p.m. Wednesday amid a snowstorm that showed no signs of stopping before nightfall.
Classes were cancelled and the Norlin Library and University Memorial Center closed as well.
An hour before, campus was bustling despite the fat flakes that blanketed the lawns and turned to slush on the sidewalks. Some students walked to their 1 p.m. classes with their tongues hanging out to catch snowflakes. Others stopped to snap photos. A few students threw snowballs, and some complained into cell phones.
“I can’t believe I have to walk around campus in this crap!” one said.
CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said campus officials decided to close the university in the afternoon after seeing that the weather forecast called for the snow to get heavier as the day went on.
They’d been keeping an eye on snowfall and road conditions since 3 a.m. Wednesday, Hilliard said. Officials planned to monitor the weather throughout the night Wednesday, he said, and make a decision by 6 a.m. Thursday about whether to reopen campus.
They planned to post the decision on the university’s Web site at colorado.edu. The information will also be available by calling the Emergency Information Line at (303) 492-INFO.
Many students, including junior Amelia Ward, sought shelter between classes Wednesday in the UMC. Ward said she considered ditching her morning classes but didn’t because she’d already missed three Interpersonal Communication classes (for no good reason, she said) — and couldn’t skip another without having points deducted from her grade.
Junior Adam Cohen also attended all of his morning classes. Instead of biking to campus from his North Boulder apartment, Cohen took the bus.
While he was waiting for it, he was sprayed by road slush.
“It was really traumatic,” Cohen, an English literature major, said half-jokingly. “I tried to act like it didn’t happen, but it did.”
Still, Cohen said he didn’t want to miss his Bible as Literature class because he has a midterm in it next week.
“I didn’t want to miss any possible answers,” he said. Neither did his classmates, apparently.
Cohen said all of his morning classes were full or nearly full.
Chemistry instructor Christine Kelly reported the same occurrence. All 38 students showed up for her 11 a.m. General Chemistry class, she said.
But not every CU student was as diligent. Junior Edward Petrella said he took one look outside Wednesday morning and decided to stay home.
“I woke up to my alarm and went to my blinds and opened them and pretty much said, ‘No way,’ and went back to bed,” he said.
Of the three classes he had Wednesday, Petrella said two were legitimately canceled, one by the professor and another because it was after 2 p.m. But he just straight-up skipped his 11 a.m. Italian class.
Sophomore Ben Rote said he decided not to go to class at about 11:30 a.m. when he got a text message about the 2 p.m. campus closure from the Campus Alerts emergency text-message system. He had one class at noon Wednesday and two after 2 p.m. Rote said he decided it wasn’t worth trekking all the way to campus for his noon class.
“I went back to sleep after I got that text message,” he said.