Is anybody reading today’s print edition? Probably not, because the University of Michigan cravenly chose to cancel classes today, ending a proud 36-year tradition of keeping school open, no matter the weather. The last time Michigan canceled classes, it snowed 19 inches. Today? It’s a bit cold. And windy! But apparently that’s reason enough for the powers that be in the Fleming Building and student government to wave the white flag. Doesn’t the Wolverine’s natural habitat extend north of the Arctic Circle?
Students and staff at Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Michigan State, the three northernmost Big Ten institutions, will all go to school today, despite temperatures well below the super-zero forecast in Ann Arbor. The Michigan Difference: Wimping out when the wind picks up. Champions of the West, or Cowards of the North?
Consider the world’s largest alumni base disgusted and embarrassed; the decision to cancel classes is a betrayal to recent graduates who proudly recall braving temperatures significantly below zero on their way to classes in February 2007 and February 2009. All those who came before certainly remember their own solemn, snowy treks to Angell Hall, the Modern Languages Building and West Hall with negative temperatures biting at their flesh, but not their resolve. We are all mortified by this capitulation. While the University is closed today, the bars surrounding campus will surely be open for business. We bet more than a few Wolverines brave the blustery weather to enjoy their day off.
This is a yellow decision by the Maize and Blue.
David Watnick and William Petrich are University alums.