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School Is Open

Classes will be held as scheduled


Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Boston University is open as usual today, despite a predicted snowfall of three to seven inches in Boston. All classes will be held as scheduled. FitRec and all libraries will operate as usual. Peter Fiedler, vice president for administrativeservices, advises staff and students to use their judgment aboutdriving to the University, and not to come in if the trip appears to beunsafe. Morning classes for the School of Public Health have been canceled.

The current storm has hit Boston with a powerful one-two punch. Yesterday’s assault added five to eight inches of powdery snow to an already impressive accumulation. Part two, which arrived this morning, will drop more than a foot of heavy wet snow on many towns west and north of the city and several inches on Boston. Wednesday’s storm is expected to turn to sleet and rain during the day, then back to snow as temperatures drop in the evening. Snow will taper off Wednesday night.

So far this winter, Boston has seen more than 63 inches of snow, far more than the average snowfall of 41.8 inches. The record, 102.8 inches, fell in the winter of 1995–1996. In Boston, which has already spent $14 million of its annual $16 million snow-removal budget, crews are struggling to find new places to dump truckloads of the white stuff. Crews have moved 37,000 tons of snow already this winter.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.


26 Comments on School Is Open

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 7:53 am

    Is this today?

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 9:14 am

    How can BU in one breath remain open and in the next encourage students and staff to stay home if it is unsafe to commute? BU is putting everyone at risk because many who should not commute will try to anyways in order to avoid missing classes or losing pay/time off. It just seems kind of two-faced.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 9:41 am

    Clearly our safety is of no importance.

    Every other college/university/school system is closed today. With heavy snow during the morning commute, sleet, freezing rain and destructive ice coming down on us, how is it that we are open today? Is our safety of no importance? Once all this precipitation starts to freeze and we get towards evening, the drive/walk/bus/commute home for all staff & students is going to be DANGEROUS and UNPREDICTABLE. Just because BU’s sidewalks are plowed early in the morning and all day, doesn’t mean that where we live is clear and safe. This is disgusting. We deserve comp time for coming in to work under these conditions.

  • Leadership, Please on 02.02.2011 at 10:32 am

    Wow- what spectacular leadership from BU yet again. No communication from the top, no information about why the decision was made to risk the health and safety of the school’s most valuable resources (students, faculty and staff). Fine, choose to keep classes running as scheduled… but at least put your face out there. I want to see the top administrators and Deans up and down Commonwealth Ave. today, making sure that people are being safe and answering questions. Of course that won’t happen – people are hiding in their offices or, more than likely “working from home.”

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:05 am

    The irony is....

    … if BU Today needs to write an article telling us that school is open, there is a problem. Everyone was expecting a cancel or a delay. Even if it was going to be mostly rain today, it would be freezing rain, with slush and sleet and flooding and dangerous conditions. I agree with the previous posts — no communication about this from anyone except an empty message on the 353-SNOW line and a tepid article reminding us that we’re still open, so it’s your own fault if you can’t get here. How magnanimous.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:26 am

    I skated to work today. Nothing is worth breaking my neck for, not even BU. I am appalled at how today was handled. B+G are great at what they do but um they only work at BU. They aren’t clearing the ice and snow in our neighborhoods. It just goes to show how little BU cares about their invaluable assets. You can hide under your generous Tuition Remission all you want but we know that you couldn’t care less about us and our safety.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:42 am


    Great, so now when those of us who have evening classes get out, we not only get to deal with the accumulation of ice but we get to trudge on through the 8-10 additional inches of snow expected throughout the evening. Not only are the majority of Massachusetts universities closed, but even Boston City employees are off. Thanks for thinking of our safety THROUGHOUT the day BU. Then again, thanks for nothing.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:46 am

    I completely agree

    I just want to throw in my two cents (and those of the four people in my college that I know came in today while everyone else is also “working from home”) that I completely agree with the comments previously posted here. This is just ridiculous and unsafe that we are open today, and BU’s decision to stay open only embitters many of the staff that had to make the journey in simply because we don’t drive and therefore have the excuse that “my street wasn’t plowed yet.”

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:47 am

    So who gets to lose their job?

    Its now 11:40 AM and the BU BUS is no longer running – presumably because of hazardous conditions. Yet classes haven’t been canceled. Glad the personal safety of BU students and faculty is really being set as a priority.

    This really comes down to liability on BU’s part. “Use your judgment”? Students, faculty, and staff do not have a bird’s eye view of their commute. Looking out the window will not predict the potential dangers that can await. By the time we figure that one out, it’ll be too late…

    Thanks BU!

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:49 am

    Even trains cancelled

    I took it upon myself to take the train today to work due to the snowfall. However, even the commuter rails were cancelled. Clearly, consideration of those who have to transport to BU by car/train/bus was not taken into considertaion and it’s disappointing. I had to drive in late since the local commuter rail was shut down. Ended up getting in over two hours late. Clearly even a delay today would have helped all.

    Our student workers who have come in, already told us all their professors cancelled classes as they did not want to commute to BU today, so why make the staff?

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 11:51 am

    We should all email Peter Fiedler and complain. That is the only way to get some notice. He is probably home today drinking hot chocolate.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 12:06 pm

    CURRENT FORECAST should prove our anger as valid...

    Temperatures this afternoon could plummet 10 degrees or more just in time for rush hour, transforming roads in Eastern Massachusetts that are now slushy and wet into dangerous skating rinks, National Weather Service forecasters said today.

    The rapid freeze is likely to happen between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Boston and the North Shore and between 4 and 5 p.m. along the South Shore and in Southeastern Massachusetts, forecasters said.

    “We expect continued precipitation throughout the entire state for the balance of the day,’’ Mullan said. “Our Number One concern is icy roads. I think people should expect to have a challenging commute this afternoon.’’

    ALSO: Last night, Governor Deval Patrick ordered non-emergency state personnel to stay home. Mayor Menino also instructed non-emergency workers to stay home.

    (source: boston.com)

    Thanks, BU.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 12:07 pm

    I and a great number of my peers here at BU are sickened by a continued lack of support for the faculty and staff with regard to our safety, amongst other things. We collectively are the backbone of this institution and deserve to know that we are valued as employees and in general as citizens with existence outside of Boston University proper. The choice that has been made to put the lives and safety of students, faculty and staff alike in jeopardy was misconceived and disgraceful. Those who have made the extreme effort to be on campus throughout the day, will leave disheartened.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 12:21 pm


    It is unfortunate that BU did not close its Charles River Campus today. The roads were not clear this morning, and the morning commute was horrendous. The Boston Globe website is predicting that the ice we are experiencing now will freeze by the evening commute making the roads even more dangerous. BU asked us faculty and staff to come in this morning, but I truly they believe they should release us early in order to avoid the evening freezing of the streets. Furthermore, even though the BU today article says Peter Fielder “advises staff and students to use their judgment about driving to the University, and not to come in if the trip appears to be unsafe”, none of us want to look bad for missing work. I am sure those of us at work today want to keep up our reputations with our employers and show that we are dedicated to our jobs and the university. I would hope that BU would respect us in return and allow us to be released early for the sake of safety.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 12:56 pm

    Seriously unsafe and unfair.

    I understand this on some level for students living on-campus, but for students in night classes who live off-campus and sometimes in other states (RI) to be forced to come in when there will be ICE all over the roads is ridiculous. One way or another, BU will be getting my medical bill if I’m in a car wreck…

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 1:20 pm

    I was just outside walking from West Campus to the GSU and it was very dangerous. I thought by 1 surfaces would be treated, but I guess they weren’t.

    The forecast called for slick conditions. Even if there wasn’t going to be a large snow accumulation, ice is probably even more dangerous. People can slip and really get hurt as this is going to continue for the rest of the day.

    I understand that there have already been two delays, but today was a very appropriate day to cancel class. Many professors even canceled their classes due to the weather.


  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 2:10 pm


    As the day progresses and I continue to sit in my office I feel BU caring less for my coworkers and me by the minute. Have any of the decision makers read this website?

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 2:22 pm

    You screwed up on this one, BU. You want to have a good reputation in the eyes of academic communities and perspective student, but because of that you are seriously looked down upon by your Faculty, Staff and current student body. You should be looking out for everyone’s safety and not concerned with whether or not the University has been closed too often. This is a fail, Peter Fiedler. A big fail.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 2:22 pm

    I’m assuming evening classes are still on at this point, even though BU has about 40 minutes left to send me an email. At any rate, thanks for making me go out in this mess tonight, BU. Real nice. Especially for people that have to drive to class.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks Alot

    Thanks BU for being the ONLY university/college/school that did not close today. Worried about allowing two snow days? Think about the students who have to commute – oh wait, the commuter rail closed and the roads are iced over Think about the students in night classes – oh wait, we have to travel to and from class through this ice and the additional 8-10 inches of snow later. If it was dangerous today, tonight is going to be even worse. Im glad student safety is #1 on your priority list. With all that tuition money we are overpaying you, we should be at the top of your list.

  • BU SPH Student on 02.02.2011 at 3:21 pm

    At least the School of Public Health is making the right decisio

    Today, I was reminded how much better the BU School of Public Health runs things than the Charles River Campus or the Medical School. Not only did SPH cancel classes appropriately (morning and evening when the roads were the most treacherous), but the Registrar’s Office sent announcements to the students enrolled in each cancelled class. Also, they allowed their employees to work from home. Not everyone who attends or works at BU lives on the T. I’m glad to be a part of a school that takes the values of their courses (i.e. injury prevention) seriously.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 3:45 pm

    Having worked for Boston University for more than five years before finally coming to my senses and resigning, I can say that the decision to stay open does not surprise me in the least. BU officials can talk all they want about “One BU” and the “BU community,” but when it comes down to it, the University is a business just like any other, and the bottom line is money. The truth is, BU is a soulless institution that is governed by soulless individuals who are concerned about two things: their big fat salaries and their self-inflated egos. Thank God for the students. They are the only reason why I can look back on my stint at the University and feel like I didn’t completely waste five years of my life.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 5:03 pm

    You are all a bunch of whiners.

    If you don’t feel safe, don’t go to class, and if you do, wear some real boots and real winter clothes.

    If you are a professor and don’t like it, cancel class. If you are staff member, call out sick and/or talk to your manager if you don’t feel safe.

    You are all adults, so if you don’t like something, spend less time whining online, and more time solving the problem in a way that keeps you safe.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 5:19 pm

    Flash Freeze

    With all the wet, slush, sleet, snow, rain, etc and the impending freeze, I am truly amazed the evening classes (at least) haven’t been canceled. It’s a shame really.

    I rely on public transportation to get me from Rhode Island to Boston in time for classes and even they have a shortened schedule. It is unsafe for people to be on the roads — driving, cycling, walking — and the commuter rails and city buses in both states are on a reduced schedule.

    It is unfortunate that we should have to cancel so often this semester, but is it worth it to stay open in such icy conditions? I elected to stay home and will now be punished for missing a class that ought to have been canceled. Not thrilled.

  • Anonymous on 02.02.2011 at 5:53 pm

    As a parent of a student I am very concerned that classes were held today. Leaving it up to staff and student to decide whether it was safe to travel to the University was unconscionable. A staff member or student might have felt that if they decided it was not safe to travel and others made it to work or class, they would have a mark against them. Safety for all staff and students should be your priority and I feel that you failed today!!

  • Anonymous on 02.03.2011 at 1:10 pm

    don't moan, organize!

    A modest proposal: a handful of staff and students (to start) need to start meeting to monitor this snow ‘policy’, come up with proposals to change it, and the methods to work on publicizing them, and getting them implemented either by BU, or by staff and students (dare I add faculty?) taking the initiative. Contact the union locals to set up a meeting.

    Some items to start the discussion….

    1) public safety takes priority over all other considerations, period.

    2) failure to provide timely and explicit announcements in itself amounts to a threat to public safety.

    3) declarations of emergency by local authorities are not optional in the decision-making process.

    4) a university is not a ‘peculiar’ institution outside the expectations of its community or those communities surrounding it.

    5) in the event of dereliction on the part of an institution of this size, those principally threatened need to anticipate future failures and organize a competent response .

    I think you can take it up from there. Yes, the university has the power through its own inertia to threaten your life and through managerial arrogance your livelihood. You have the power to educate and restrain such an institution by organizing the people who make up the institution ‘civil’ solution to this problem.

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