YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As students arrived on campus at Youngstown State University Thursday morning, some saw the numbing cold as no reason to skip their classes, even though public schools in the area all had closed.
“Even though it is really miserably cold and lot of us don’t want to be here, we are paying for it and if they really don’t want to come, they don’t have to,” Gabby Fellow of New Springfield said.
Those who walked to campus from dorms or nearby apartments took the chill in stride. Even the statue of Howard Jones was sporting a scarf.
“It’s been worse and we’ve had class. I think today is one of the better days we have had,” Vincent Camelli of Youngstown said.
But then the power went out. A problem at the substation on campus knocked out service for nearly a dozen buildings. It was restored within a few hours.
While some switched to generators for lighting, there was no power for computers in labs at Ward Beecher Hall, and others were even less fortunate.
Some students resorted to using the flashlights on their cell phones and laptop screens to get their work done in one darkened study lounge. But as professors began cancelling classes on their own, some wondered why the university did not close altogether.
“It is pretty cold out here. And the buildings went out, so we kind of came down here for no reason,” Kierra Arnold of Pittsburgh said.
“It is always, we can come out here and it is below zero degrees. This is a shame really,” Mikala Price of Pittsburgh said.
“I mean, unlike high school, where the kids are inside all day, but with college, you are out walking around, you have to go to class, you are commuting back and forth, the cold is pretty ridiculous. And then we get here and find out three-quarters of the university has no power, running on generators and whatnot,” Bill Katko of Brookfield said.
University officials said there is not a standard policy for closing the campus and decisions are handled on a case-by-case basis.Instead, students are encouraged to use their own best judgement in deciding whether to attend classes in bad weather.
“All of us are coming from so many different areas. There are many kids in the dorms. I personally live two blocks away, so I am able to get here,” Rebecca Banks of Youngstown said.
Morning classes have been canceled for Friday, but staff is to report, according to university spokesman Ron Cole. Classes will resume at noon.