The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

University cancels Tuesday classes in anticipation of nor’easter, Boston declares snow emergency

A+student+dressed+in+a+penguin+costume+blocks+a+midair+snowball.+Northeastern+canceled+classes+scheduled+for+Feb.+13+in+anticipation+of+a+snow+storm.
Erin Fine
A student dressed in a penguin costume blocks a midair snowball. Northeastern canceled classes scheduled for Feb. 13 in anticipation of a snow storm.

Northeastern canceled all classes on its Massachusetts campuses scheduled for Tuesday after the National Weather Service predicted a snowstorm would impact New England Tuesday morning. The cancellation is the first since university officials announced last month the school would no longer hold “virtual snow days,” which were created after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In an email sent to students around 3 p.m. Monday, the university said that while classes are canceled, all dining halls, recreational facilities and Snell Library will operate at their regular hours. Administrative offices will also remain open “for the benefit of our teaching and research mission,” the university wrote. 

The university last canceled in-person classes due to heavy snow in January 2018 after a snowstorm hit Massachusetts. It adopted virtual classes — and snow days — during the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to use virtual snow days even after students returned to the classroom. 

Though the building is open on Tuesday, Snell Library services will only be available virtually tomorrow and all events in the building are canceled, according to a post on the library’s X, formerly known as Twitter, page. 

The university also postponed a Mardi Gras celebration that was set to be held in Stetson East, according to Northeastern Dining post on X. 

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Monday that will take effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday and last until 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to an alert on its website. Meteorologists predict “heavy snow” accumulations of 4 to 8 inches and wind gusts as high as 35 miles per hour in the Boston area. 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a snow emergency for the city Monday and announced that Boston Public Schools, City Hall and other municipal buildings will close Tuesday in anticipation of the storm, called a nor’easter due to its location on the East Coast. The snow emergency began Monday at 10 p.m.

“The storm is expected to intensify between the mid-morning and mid-afternoon hours with snowfall rates estimated at 1-2 inches per hour combined with strong winds and whiteout conditions in parts of Massachusetts,” the university said in its email, adding that the class cancelation is partly due to “the timing of the storm.”

At the most recent Northeastern faculty senate meeting Jan. 31, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan announced the school would shift to “old-fashioned” snow days with canceled classes. The change comes years after schools across the nation adapted to virtual classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some schools, including Northeastern, moved classes online during snow days instead of canceling them. 

The policy change aims to alleviate the burden on faculty members who are responsible for their children when local schools are closed, The News reported last month.

In the Monday email, the university encouraged managers to “use discretion” in providing flexibility for employees who work on campus and may have difficulties commuting to work. 

The last time Boston saw more than four inches of snow was in February 2022, according to NBC Boston, marking the longest streak without four or more inches of snow for the area. 

“With the arrival of our first major snowstorm this winter, City teams are prepared to clear our roadways and respond to any emergencies during the storm,” Wu said in a statement Monday, adding the city’s Public Works Department will treat Boston’s roads prior to the snowfall and that the city has 40,000 tons of salt ready to use. 

MBTA service will be affected by Tuesday’s storm, Governor Maura Healey’s office said in a statement Monday. Trolley service on the Mattapan Line will be suspended and replaced with shuttle buses  “in order to accommodate expected accumulated snowfall and to protect the nearly 80-year-old trolleys from potential damage.” Regular weekday service is expected on all other lines, Healey’s office said. 

Buses and Commuter Rail lines are expected to operate normally, but service may be disrupted if conditions worsen. 

“The safety and well-being of our community remains a top priority,” the university wrote in the email. “We will continue to closely monitor the weather conditions and will provide any necessary updates by email, social media channels and the university homepage.”

About the Contributor
Emily Spatz, Campus Editor
Emily Spatz is a journalism and political science combined major with a minor in english and campus editor of The News. She is currently a general assignment reporter co-op at Boston.com has interned at her hometown newspaper covering business, city events and politics. She hopes to continue bringing pertinent, timely and thorough reporting to the Northeastern community. You can follow her @emilymspatz on X.
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