• Art Jahnke

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Art Janke

    Art Jahnke began his career at the Real Paper, a Boston area alternative weekly. He has worked as a writer and editor at Boston Magazine, web editorial director at CXO Media, and executive editor in Marketing & Communications at Boston University, where his work was honored with many awards. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 151 comments on Sandy Brings Wind, Rain, Time to Study

  1. What a misguided statement by Kenneth Elmore. They knew yesterday they should have closed BU today for classes. Instead they waited until the last possible moment to cancel classes. Shame on you, BU.

    1. Mike – that is ridiculous. We spoke to our son yesterday afternoon (10/28) and he already knew classes were cancelled for Monday (10/29). He also mentioned that exams scheduled for Tuesday may be rescheduled for Thursday depending on storm progress. Preparedness is what we need to teach our kids and if your adult college children have prepared, they will certainly be able to weather this storm in BOSTON. If you were talking about NYC, Connecticut, Long Island or New Jersey I would understand your complaint.

      1. I can only hope that Mike is actually talking about Peter Fiedler who yesterday said, “We are looking at a very windy and rainy day…” in a previous BU Today article. Today has proven to be more than that.

        Would it be nice to know about closures 2hrs sooner? Yes. But only someone who hasn’t studied for an exam or completed homework for tomorrow would insult Dean Elmore.

        I, personally, feel that BU should be closed tomorrow. First and foremost, it’s a mess outside and it’s supposed to be very windy and dangerous still tomorrow. Second, many BU students hail from NY, RI, Connecticut, and NJ. I’m sure they are stressed about their family’s well being and that of their neighborhood. BU should allow students a day to make arrangements and recoup. Third, it’s better to be safe than sorry. At the end of the day, weather reports educated guesses. Sure the math and science are complicated, but no one can truly predict nature or her fury.

    2. I am a concerned parent in New York right now and Sandy is really making an impact on the city. I keep awaiting in BUtoday for updates regarding if school will be closed tomorrow and I have to wait up until 10pm for an answer. I am concerned for my child’s safety and protection and would really appreciate an answer in further notice. The debris on the streets and billboards falling down with high power winds is very dangerous and I am very nervous.

      1. Don’t worry your rich little girls will be ok… trust me BU wants them around to spend your money on overpriced food and housing on the BU campus for years to come.

  2. Waiting until 8:00 PM is as dangerous as it is negligent. There are so many variables to contend with and so many things that can go wrong until then. Why not have a basic modicum of respect for BU students and let them know well in advance. Roads are flooded, objects are obstructing railroad tracks.

    Come one now, Dean. Safety matters.

    1. With all due respect, why does 8 PM make a difference for you? Had it been 6 PM, you would complain as well. How is this dangerous and negligent? How will waiting for another 2 hours change your life? As a BU student, I don’t mind waiting for an informed decision.

      1. 2 hours can make all the difference in the world if you factor in power outages. How will information flow in that context, smart guy? Courage or leadership is not waiting until the governor makes a decision for you to make a decision. We pay +40K a year to attend BU. We deserve real leadership.

        1. You deserve a class on growing up. Sadly, I don’t think the university offers any of those. If we were to actually lose power, I think it would be safe to say there would be no class. Learn to act like an adult. We aren’t even in the middle of the storm; we are barely on the edge. Get some extra water, get some snacks, get a flashlight and some batteries, and if you really feel that unsafe, don’t go outside. Plain and simple. Don’t hassle the university for trying to hold the classes that you pay 40K a year for.

    2. How is waiting until 8pm negligent? That gives everyone nearly 12 hours to plan accordingly, far more than is usually available in storms where decisions are made the morning of. Newer forecasts indicate that the hurricane will not even directly hit Massachusetts, so while yes, there will be rain and wind tomorrow, it won’t be nearly as bad as today. It’s New England– all sorts of crazy weather is par for the course.

    3. Mike just doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow. How would knowing you don’t have to go to school tomorrow earlier than 8 PM make you any safer…?

      1. Ask a question, get an answer, and call me a baby. Is that you, Dean Elmore? Seriously, 8pm is late considering the unknown. Takes more courage to say “i will not risk student safety” than to cower behind the governor’s decision. This is all about liability and BU’s administration is more worried about looking good than it is worried making a perceived bad decision.

        The school has mislead us already about their level of preparations and injuries related to Sandy. How can we further trust them?

      2. Maybe by being able to prepare for the weather instead of doing homework and studying and the like. As college students, we’re put under enormous pressure to manage our time, but we can’t contend with both the professors at BU and a hurricane

  3. Where is BU getting this information?? EVERY SINGLE news source I have seen said the winds would be calmer but will still be quite heavy at about 50 mph. I have yet to hear anything about 25 mph. I think BU is trying to downplay this storm and that is so ridiculous. Is having the school open really worth the safety of employees who have to travel via public transportation as well as having students and employees traveling where there are no street lights working? Shame on you BU.

  4. Every single news site I check says that the weather is going to be really bad tomorrow and that the storm won’t calm down at all once it hits the shoreline – where does BU get this info from? This is just ridiculous. I will not go to class tomorrow if the weather is like it was today. I’m not so crazy as to risk my life!

  5. @Chelsea: I believe the student on Nickerson sustained a sports injury, completely unrelated to the hurricane.

    @Missing Something?: ALL of the major news sources are saying tomorrow winds will be 25mph or less.

    If your going to rip on the people trying to get you the most accurate news they can atleast check YOUR sources.

      1. Exactly, he was playing football during hurricane-induced winds. If he actually followed BU’s advice on not going outside unless absolutely necessary he would not have been injured.

    1. You are clearly the kid in class who waits the last 5 minutes of class to ask a complicated question to showoff to the teacher.

      Guess what?

      That doesn’t work here.

      Everywhere I look still says 40 mph btw.

  6. Gee, it’s nice to see all kinds of helpful insight from people who clearly know what they’re talking about in these comments.

    Oh wait, you’re being a bunch of uninformed douchebags.

    The storm’s projected path has it nowhere near Boston tomorrow; Western Mass is supposed to get hit harder than we are. So, instead of whining about not getting tomorrow off yet, why don’t you let people do their jobs and decide what’s the appropriate course of action?

    And Mike, get back to me when you have to make a decision of consequence that involves over 16,000 people.

      1. James Carr-

        You are not paying 40k to get straight A’s. You are paying 40k to get an education and a diploma from an institution that has a reputation for educating and preparing students for a job. If you want straight A’s you can pay less and go to Phoenix Online, see how far that diploma gets you

  7. I’ve seen weather updates on reuters.com and they predict very bad conditions for tomorrow. The situation might be worse. I’m not sure BU fully assess the seriousness of the situation…

    In the place where I live, a tree smashed a car. This hurricane shouldn’t be downplayed

  8. I am a very light and frail person, and i know that the winds are supposed to be fierce tomorrow and i am scared that i will get blown over an hurt myself tomorrow walking to my classes that are far away from the dorms. Plus my building keeps vibrating and it is very scary.

    1. Actually, I think some people are legitimately scared that they are going to have to go to class regardless of really bad weather tomorrow. I for one have done all my homework but I still do not want to go out there if the winds are going to be this strong.

    2. It doesn’t matter what people are planning for it just matters that they can plan. BU is a sophisticated enough university to understand there is more to life than class and people deserve the respect to be informed or updated about certain decisions.

  9. Apparently the MBTA isn’t 100% sure if services are going to run tomorrow. So…how will I get to classes when I live outside of Boston? If we have classes tomorrow and I can’t get to school, I have to involuntarily miss classes? I hope they cancel until the MBTA is up and running. They won’t be able to figure it out until the winds have subsided and they can figure out the damage. Are they going to be working through the night? Doubt it. So I doubt I will be able to get to classes on time tomorrow. I heard tomorrow it will be calmer, but what is calmer? On Channel 7 it’s 25-40mph that’s still pretty high and there’s damage throughout Allston.

  10. I just want to share that I am very much afraid to let my children go to campus tomorrow.
    We live near Brookline, and it is definitely not looking any better tonight than it did last night.

    Remember, this is not a gamble. It’s students we are talking about.

    Mangoli De la Portas,

    1. You are totally right Mangoli. Things are looking pretty rough, and i am worried sick, since i am pretty sensitive in difficult situations. My bicycle can’t manage the waves on the street, and i am afraid that i will end up in a bad neighborhood because of the currents.

    1. Ah, yes.

      Countering ‘we don’t want to risk our health and safety for classes’ with ‘dont go to college if you dont want to go to class.’ Very insightful.

        1. I, the non-Adult (hehehe that’s a play on your ever-emphatic condescension), am just pointing out that some will not risk their safety for classes, because that’s, like, pretty smart regardless of whatever arbitrary wind-based label you want to give this storm.

          Adult, I am surprised that someone who exudes so much machismo wears rain boots.

  11. Reading all the comments, I’m disappointed in the behavior of a small group of students who are attacking the administration for not declaring cancellations before 8pm.

    Every weather report I have read says winds less than 25MPH and some fairly heavy rain. Will it stink? Yeah. Does that mean you should attack Dean Elmore personally? No. If anyone cares about the students and their safety it would be Dean Elmore, and I think allegations of the university thinking of the storm as a monetary concern rather than a safety concern are ill-befitting of BU students.

    Maybe some of them are just trying to use a storm as a way to shirk responsibility while the rest of us wish to make the most out of every lecture and discussion while here at BU.

    Thinking monetarily for myself, I know that I pay approximately $200 for every lecture that I attend (or don’t attend). After missing class today, I’m down $400. I applaud the administration for valuing class time and scholarship enough to wait and receive all the information before making a hasty decision about cancelations.

    Stop attacking the Deans and start taking your learning seriously, and maybe you’ll see why waiting until 8PM isn’t the worst thing in the world.

    1. Per lecture cost is sunk. Every student should be deciding whether the added knowledge of a few hours of lecture outweighs personal safety. For those that live quite a ways away, with no T service especially, this seems like a very simple decision. Why penalize these students?
      I agree with you about the time. Making the decision at 8 as opposed to 6 or 5 is the right call as storm and city conditions vary greatly from hour to hour.

    2. http://twitter.com/bu_tweets

      10PM? Leave your non sequitur to the curb. Losing money for your law school classes is irrelevant to our discussion.

      I pay for a gamut of services at BU. When I am told that I will receive leadership from some of the finest minds and I instead get this horse manure, I have a right to be upset and to voice my opinion. This is abject failure personified. BU is more worried about following than leading and that is a damn shame.

      1. You are actually the very person I was talking about as a disappointing lack of dignity and respect.

        I’m not a law student, I’m an English Major/Theatre Minor, so the value of my class lies in my ability to discuss ideas about literature and drama with others. I understand that the 200/class valuation is flawed, but it was simply making my point more clear.

        You are quite possibly the most ignorant person to have commented here, or would arrogant be a better word?

        Oh well, I’m off to actually learn what a non sequitur is so I don’t toss it around carelessly (and incorrectly) like yourself.

        Enjoy wasting anger over a decision that hasn’t even been made yet.

      1. It’s not sucking up, it’s respecting an established system that does, in fact, work.

        Am I upset we’re waiting until 10 now? Yes. Do I have the reasoning ability to understand the reasoning behind the delay? Yes.

        Just prepare for there to be classes tomorrow, and if there isn’t, it’s a pleasant surprise.

    3. Wait until you get out into the real world and realize those lectures mean nothing.
      Most people can’t make it to school and work tomorrow because of the damage. So it is not just the wind. It is navigating to the campus. Stop being a suck up and realize it is HEALTH and SAFETY concerns.

      There are trees and branches all over the roads. I cannot even drive. So I think I can do without saving that $400 dollars.

      1. I realized after the fact that I didn’t address off-campus concerns in this comment. Please see my later comment two below this.

        I hope you can either get to school safely tomorrow or class is cancelled. Best wishes to you!

  12. I don’t know how I’m supposed to come to class tomorrow… I don’t think it would be safe to bike to the campus regarding all the branches of trees lying around and I haven’t heard anything about the T yet… I hope they will take these things into consideration when they make their decision!

  13. I agree. We shouldn’t attack the administration or Dean Elmore. However, it will be dangerous to truck outside tomorrow given the circumstances of today. Classes should resume on Wednesday.

  14. And to those talking about not being able to get to class because of MBTA delays or cancellations as well as downed trees or debris: I think it is a little foolish to believe these things aren’t being closely considered. Dean Elmore, in this very article, acknowledged the importance of meeting the needs of those who live off-campus. I’m sure they are communicating closely with the MBTA and Boston Public Works to get a timeline on when any street clearing/rail repairing will be done by, or if it is even doable.

    All I ask is that you wait for a decision before you start viciously attacking the administration without cause or justification.

  15. The conditions are really just treacherous and I don’t even feel comfortable going outside. I can’t imagine what students off-campus would do tomorrow if they have to get to class.

    1. have you even been outside today? I’ve been outside multiple times and besides getting rained on and dealing with wind (if you go here that’s not unusual) there’s nothing treacherous about this…. go look at pictures of new york/new jersey and reconsider your panic

  16. I can’t believe that you all keep feeding the trolls in here. Oh yeah, you might be without power… This is only a real inconvenience if you live on the top floor of the dorms. How far outside of the BU community do you live that you would have no way of finding out past 8pm whether or not things are canceled? If you think that an 8pm announcement is too late, then maybe you should consider other life options. The only thing that matters more to the college than your safety is your education. Which is what you pay them for. Get back to your books and your studying, I hope you had a nice day off, but this weather is not going to modify what is expected of you as students, and what you should expect of yourselves. Your career on the other side of college certainly will not care that the weather inconvenienced you. It inconvenienced millions of people. Now quit trolling and study.

    1. “Oh yeah, you might be without power… This is only a real inconvenience if you live on the top floor of the dorms.”

      Or if you’re like handicapped, or need a computer to do homework, or are concerned with safety at all… But good point, I can totally see how you’re right and everyone else concerned about this hurricane is being paranoid.

      1. alright fine you got me there… but that doesn’t defeat my main point that the trolling here is out of control. BU will do it’s best to ensure the safety of it’s students. It will strive to provide power and food. Be honest, is this the worst weather you’ve ever experienced? Did you not venture out of your apartment today because you thought it was so unsafe? Then why the personal attacks against how BU is handling this? I just find it astonishing to see the reactions to an educated decision to cancel classes. Look at the other major schools in Boston, not Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, or BC have announced a cancellation either (yet). According to this logic all these schools don’t care about the safety of their students either. And seriously if money were the driving factor… BU saves more money (because you’ve already paid them) by not running electricity all day in the classrooms and having all non-essential personal take a day off.

        I’m just saying quit feeding the trolls.

        1. “The only thing that matters more to the college than your safety is your education. Which is what you pay them for.”

          I don’t pay over this much to be put in a dangerous situation. Also, my “safety” is more important than going to class to be taught everything that was in the reading for that day so I doubt that my education is hindered by not having class.

          “I hope you had a nice day off, but this weather is not going to modify what is expected of you as students, and what you should expect of yourselves.”

          I can tell you that I for one spent today studying and worrying about the hurricane. Studying. Not drinking and complaining. I am fully aware of what I expect of myself and I can tell you that the hurricane hasn’t changed that. I don’t “want a free day” as I already don’t have class two days a week but I am a responsible student- I do my HW, I study, I do research and I tutor.

          I just want to be safe and considering that my family has suffered two tragedies in the past 3 months, I’m pretty sure that’s what they are all concerned about. Or maybe I’m mistaken and all the “just stay safe. Stay inside. Don’t take risks” texts and calls I got today were all code for “Education over safety.”

          So why are you generalizing like this?

  17. Hello,

    Waiting on school cancellations makes me feel like an elementary school student again. While I enjoy the youthful nostalgia, I do not know if everyone else feels the same way. I appreciate the gravity of the situation and I do not resent the administration for the timing of their decisions. Mayhaps it would be best if we all carried on with our evening as if it were any other and when the Dean delivers his verdict, nothing will have— FORGET THAT!! NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!! STUDENTS, REJOYCE! BE MERRY! FLOOD THE STREETS WITH YOUR DANCE OF ELATION!!

    …school is cancelled, right?

  18. There’s no problem with the university’s decision making. All the schools in the area waited until after the governor spoke to make a decision.
    HOWEVER, the administration at least owed the students updates more frequently than nearly 12 hours apart. Also the use of an article format makes changes difficult to notice. I almost went out to the library after they closed because I didn’t see an updated article! That’s the only thing I would change…

  19. I really hope they do consider that not only the weather that is bad but the aftermath as well. I live off campus and my windows have already shattered due to the storm. I truly hope they consider at least delaying classes tomorrow in order to clean up all the debris left from the storm.

  20. From the BU twitter: “We are still in talks pending further info from public transit and the state, and will update again by 10:00, if not sooner. Thank you.”

    People don’t have electricity and this is what we get? This is piss-poor crisis management. 10PM? Really? Wow.

  21. Well, now they’ve changed it to 10PM or maybe sooner. This is honestly ridiculous… I have a bunch of exams this week and have been studying for them throughout this weekend and today, and now I am not able to prioritize as well as if we had known even now!

  22. My son Hector was riding his bike when he was struck on the back of the head with a large tree branch luckily he was able to shack off the injury but what if the branch had been larger what if my son was lying in a pool of blood unable to receive help. I am extremely disappointed that Boston University had decided to place all of our children in danger so that the school can save a few extra dollars. How about this BU take the Billion dollars your trying to raise and spend some small portion of it on safety, the thing you currently are trying to neglect.

    1. Classes were canceled today though and the university advised students to stay inside. I’m not sure there is much BU could do in a hurricane to prevent what happened to your son, although it is unfortunate. I also do not see how BU financially gains from keeping the school open. How is that decision profitable?

      1. Well, perhaps with that much money, they could install security systems that disallow students from exiting the building.

        This reminds me of the McDonald’s Hot Coffee lawsuits.

    2. Sorry Chief, but that was your son’s own fault. BU didn’t place any of us kids in danger today — they canceled classes and told us about everything we need to do to keep ourselves safe. Your son’s the one who made the poor decision to go biking in the middle of a hurricane when he should have just stayed inside like the rest of us did the moment we heard that we had no obligations. Don’t blame the school, blame your son for being stupid enough to go riding a bike in the thick of Hurricane Sandy.

      On a different note, BU should definitely be telling us whether or not we have classes tomorrow. Some people need to commute into the city, some people have to be in bed by 10 because they have an early class, they can’t afford to wait up until 10 PM to know whether or not they’re going to need to brave the storm tomorrow.

  23. well said, zachary. i dont know if bu really has anything to gain or lose by keeping the campus open or closed tomorrow. But we do.

    Trust the school. youre paying them already, and the last thing they want is bad publicity and to lose a customer. If they see the remotest chance things will be less than safe, then 8pm or am the next day they will let you know. They’re playing it safer than you can imagine. Buck up, schoolmates. At least you got a Monday out of Sandy

  24. Apparently they’re updating at 10PM now. However, considering it takes me 45 minutes to commute, I have class at 9am tomorrow, and I work out in the mornings, I need to be asleep by 10 in order to function! Well, that’s really obnoxious. I guess I’ll just go to bed and find out in the morning when my alarm goes off what the status was! :/

    1. Um, if my email is never shown (ie, some privacy expected), why is that image shown? I didn’t upload that anywhere with intent for it to show up on BU Today comments.

      1. If you use wordpress for a different department on BU’s system it still sometimes pulls your profile image. I learned this the hard way once when I posted what I thought was an anon comment and it appeared with my full name and picture. Just contact the web admin and he/she’ll take it down for you.

  25. My gosh, it’s horrible outside. Loads of rain hitting my window. Trees are swaying like crazy. The police or ambulance are across the street. And I can’t even go outside because the winds are horrible. Ugh.

  26. This is college, not K-12. You never have to go. Ever. And you should be old enough to be able to judge whether or not it’s worth going or not. Deal with it.

    1. Marc, Some of us don’t have a choice about whether or not to go to class. All of my classes are 100% Participation Demanded. I would prefer not to endure the commute if it isn’t safe. If it is, then of course I have no objection of attending. But I would like to know sometime before I fall asleep and set my alarms for 6am.

    2. I respectfully disagree; many professors at BU incorporate daily attendance into one’s participation grade. In some classes, students would face a penalty for not attending.

      1. That’s actually exactly what was said. The MBTA General Manager has tweeted all T service except the providence line will be open on time tomorrow, the Governor believes her, and BPS and Boston City Offices will all be open.

    1. Actually…the mbta just updated its twitter account and said it was “cautiously optimistic” about resuming service tomorrow. Really? Come on, I know it’s unpredictable but some of us have to plan.

  27. My son just informed me that they don’t have power at his place in Allston, trees are down and major flooding. I’m very concerned and don’t think he should have to worry about school tomorrow and things like that when he isnt even safe in his apartment!

    1. Most of the professors at BU are reasonable people. I’ll bet if your son drops an email to his professors, they’ll all understand if he needs to miss class.

  28. Today I saw a bear with wings and a dragon for a tail swoop down, pick up exactly twelve people in a potato sack, and then break the sound barrier as he flew back into the clouds. This storm is literally out of control. BU you better cancel class tomorrow unless you are going to give each of us exactly 54 weapons to defend ourselves from flying man-eating bears and everything else this crazy storm is creating.

  29. As Bruk’s overly concerned parent (my son is adorable), I do not think class tomorrow is safe. He has a bad knee and does not know how to swim. If there is any sort of flooding my little bruk will not be okay :(. He also tends to stare at trees and may get hit by one. BU please have my son stay in during this terrible occasion!!!

  30. I think BU is waiting for the authorities in MA again, the power outage area that are affected and the weather update. Right now tomorrow is predicted to be rainy and 18mph winds which is typical for storms.

  31. Fortunately, I don’t have class scheduled tomorrow and will be staying safe and sound in my apartment. Having said that I think it would be prudent to cancel classes given that many are still without power and that conditions vary across the area. Deval Patrick tweeted, “school closing are local discretion.” While BU may be relatively unscathed, there are commuter students who may still be experiencing flooding and major storm damage, and unlike most public schools BU has students coming from a very large and diverse area. The MBTA is “cautiously optimistic” which is not a definitive up and running. Should schools remain open, but transportation not fully functional, students might be held liable for missing classes or midterms while it was in no way their fault. Many professors are already canceling classes, so the university might as well close and save operating cost. If BU does chose to open, I would suggest making tomorrow an excused absence for those few who are not able to get to class due to a weather or transportation related issue.

  32. I have a midterm tomorrow and can’t even study right now because my wall’s moving! How am I supposed to study under such stress and ace the midterm tomorrow morning? Gosh, BU. Just call it off!

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