Allegheny closes all offices due to frigid winter temperatures

For the first time since the 1970s, Allegheny College closed its offices due to frigid winter temperatures.

After sending out a campus-wide email at 9:33 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, officially announcing the closing, cheers could be heard across campus in celebration of not having class Wednesday, Jan. 30.

“Update: Allegheny College will be closed on Wednesday, Jan. 30, due to extremely cold temperatures and wind chills,” the email read. “No classes will be held, and all administrative offices will be closed; residence halls and student dining facilities will remain open. Limited shuttle service will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Employees designated as essential personnel are expected to report to campus. Employees who are unsure if they should report to work should contact their supervisors.”

A Campus article reports the last time Allegheny closed its offices due to extreme weather was in the 1970s and during World War Two.

Dean of Students April Thompson said the decision was necessary in order to maintain the safety of the campus community.

“I think it was a good decision in light of the extreme weather conditions,” Thompson said in an email. “While it may be unusual to close our campus, these are unusual temperatures, and the safety of the community must be our priority. Now, the task ahead of us is making sure the students have food, custodial services, and heat for the next couple of days. Make sure to show your appreciation to the staff who are here through all the extreme conditions to care for students.”

Prior to the announcement students reached out to administrators, requesting that classes be canceled. ASG Senator Taylor Marzouca, ’21, expressed concerns during Tuesday’s ASG meeting.

“I think it was a good thing that classes got canceled,” Nicole Foulkrod, ’22, said. “Some students have multiple classes that are far apart on campus and would have to be out in the cold several times throughout the day. It might mess up schedules a bit, but no student’s or faculty (member’s) safety is worth sacrificing for one day of classes.”

In traditional Allegheny fashion, some students planned to use this day off to catch up on their homework.

“I like that they canceled classes because I think it shows the school is listening to students and prioritizing our well-being,” Sophia Ramsey, ’21, said. “And also now, I can start that paper that’s due Thursday.”  

Both McKinley’s Food Court and Brooks Dining Halls closed early Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 350 pizzas were delivered to residence halls for students to enjoy.

At 5:43 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, another email was sent to students, announcing that no classes would be held Thursday due to “extreme cold” — making Allegheny history.