University officials cite county warning for campus closure

1 month 15 hours 17 minutes ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 2:07:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
By: Grace Taylor, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Students avoided slick roads after the University of Missouri closed campus on Friday.

The school alerted students classes would start late, but later closed campus for the day. This came after Boone County emergency officials urged the public to stay off the roads. University spokesperson Christian Basi said the request was a significant factor in the decision to close campus.

Upperclassman Tom Cleary said he thinks Mizzou should have canceled classes earlier.

"I think it would have been more efficient. Students wouldn't have had to get up early, wondering if classes are cancelled or not," Cleary said.

The school began working with road crews and meteorologists at 4 a.m. to determine the conditions of roads entering campus.

"At the time, it appeared the roads would be clear around ten and safe," Basi said. "Boone County's request was a significant factor in the decision to close."

Class cancelations have become more common on campus in the last five years. 

2017: Delayed start on January 19

2018: Full campus closure on January 13

2019: Full campus closure on January 11-14, January 30 classes cancelled

2020: Full campus closure on January 17, January 24

With more opportunities to work from home, Basi said staff is able to be more productive during school closings.

He said although some productivity is lost, student safety has always been the school's first priority.

Freshman Kate Bowles is happy with the school's decisions so far this year.

"From what I've seen, I think the university does a good job of prioritizing their students," Bowles said.

Cleary disagrees.  In the last two years, he has felt unsafe going to class.

"They're not thinking about students' safety," Cleary said.

Basi said no two weather events are the same. With dangerous roads and no chance of warmer temperatures, Friday was different than days campus stayed open in the past.

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