As a result of the inclement conditions caused by Hurricane Sandy on Monday, Penn State canceled classes at University Park for fifth time in nearly 20 years.
All classes and activities after 1:10 p.m. were canceled on campus via a PSUTXT sent at about 12:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
Prior to Monday, the cancellations that ranged from 1994 to 2007 were caused by snowstorms. However, the force behind canceling classes this time was wind, Penn State’s Director of Emergency Management Brian Bittner said.
He said updates on wind speed, specifically, were what the decision to cancel classes for the remainder of the day was based on and that classes will remain canceled until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Although classes were canceled, Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers said campus never truly shuts down.
“Penn State never closes, at least not entirely,” because of the 15,000 students living on campus, Powers wrote in an email. She said the residence halls must be operational “no matter how bad things get.”
According to Daily Collegian archives, the last time classes were canceled was on Feb. 14, 2007 when nearly a foot of snow enveloped State College.
Prior to 2007, classes were canceled on Feb. 17, 2003 because of a snowfall of 14 inches. Many students who went on the final canning trip before the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon that weekend were stranded in the areas to where they traveled or were unable to make the trip at all.
According to the Collegian archives, the 17 inches of snow that fell during “The Blizzard of ‘96” caused classes to be canceled on Jan. 8, 1996 as students were returning to campus after winter break. The normal snowfall for the entire winter at that time was supposed to be 45 to 50 inches. However, by Jan. 8 that year, 74.7 inches had fallen in the area.
On Jan. 19, 1994, afternoon classes were canceled because of a state emergency.
Gov. Robert P. Casey declared the state a “disaster emergency,” therefore causing classes to be canceled after 2 p.m.
Residence halls received warnings that they would be without power for about an hour, two HUB-Robeson Center eateries were closed, the Pattee Library closed at 2 p.m. in order to conserve power and the Ritenour Health Center closed at 5 p.m.