Polar vortex continues into Thursday, Pitt remains open


Christian Snyder | Editor in Chief

Slippery Rock University, Youngstown State University, Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Point Park University, Carlow University and Penn State University have all stated they will be closed or cancel classes today.

By Joanna Li, News Editor

Pitt students who signed a petition that began circulating Tuesday evening demanding Pitt cancel classes on Wednesday got their wish — on Wednesday morning, students were alerted that classes were cancelled for the day.

“January 30, 2019 classes are cancelled. Employees use discretion reporting to work. Refer to the Extreme Weather Policy at emergency.pitt.edu,” the alert said.

Although classes were cancelled, the University wasn’t and staff and other employees were encouraged to use judgment about whether or not they can come to work. According to policy, if an employee chooses to stay home on a day when classes are canceled, it is considered a vacation day.

“The decision to cancel classes at the Pittsburgh campus on Wednesday, Jan. 30, was influenced by weather conditions that unexpectedly deteriorated early this morning. We will continue to carefully monitor weather forecasts and post an update on our operating status at 5 p.m. today,” Joe Miksch, Pitt spokesperson, said.

A second petition demanding Pitt cancel classes on Thursday began circulating Wednesday afternoon. An announcement was made shortly after 5 p.m., stating that classes would resume Thursday.

“We plan to return to normal operations and classes to resume as scheduled tomorrow morning. Today’s cancellations as out of an abundance of caution and the weather did not affect our facilities or operations. For the latest information, please check emergency.pitt.edu,” Miksch said.

Carnegie Mellon cancelled Thursday classes on Wednesday evening, and several other Pittsburgh-area universities announced closure for Thursday as well, including Duquesne University, Point Park University and Carlow University.

Student Government Board President Maggie Kennedy sent an email to Pitt administrators, including Gallagher, again, citing the new petition and the concern for the safety of students.

“A very large number of students have been expressing their concerns via social media and directly to us through personal texts, emails, and calls,” the email said. “As Pitt students, we have become accustomed to cold weather and making it to class no matter what. Truly, we would not be reaching out to you all for just any regular winter day and we hope we do not have to share this sort of feedback with you again in the future.”

According to the National Weather Service, wind chill temperatures are expected to reach as low as 22 degrees below zero, and the wind chill advisory remains in place until 5 p.m. Thursday evening.

Former SGB Vice President, Zuri Kent-Smith took to Facebook, expressing that he is not surprised Pitt has not yet canceled for Thursday.


Temperatures are expected to rise to the mid-30s during the weekend, and into the mid-50s towards the end of next week.