Is It Really Too Cold For College Students To Get To Class?

A dusting of snow sits on the lawn outside Vanderbilt University's Kirkland Hall. The last time classes were altered because of weather was in 2010. Exams were delayed as a result of the floods in May of that year. Credit: VU

A dusting of snow sits on the lawn outside Vanderbilt University’s Kirkland Hall. The last time classes were altered because of weather was in 2010. Exams were delayed as a result of the floods in May of that year. Credit: VU

Two of Nashville’s largest private colleges made the unusual move to cancel classes because of the cold temperatures. But it appears the decision was based more on timing of the wintry weather than its severity.

Spokespeople for both Vanderbilt and Lipscomb universities say safety is the priority. While they’re worried about keeping students warm on campus during single-digits, they’re more concerned for those traveling back from even icier parts of the country.

“Hazardous travel conditions and canceled air flights have already delayed some students and faculty from returning to campus from holiday break,” said a statement from Vanderbilt officials sent Sunday night.

Lipscomb announced Saturday that the semester would be delayed, giving time for students to alter their travel plans. If it were mid-semester and students were already safely in their dorms, Lipscomb’s Kim Chaudoin said the decision might have been different.

“If we had already been here on campus in session, completely different situation,” she said Monday.

By contrast, Belmont University went ahead with the first day of classes after Christmas break, citing limited ice on the roads.

Lipscomb will be closed again on Tuesday. Vanderbilt resumes classes. Most public universities return as scheduled next week.

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