Colleges, Universities React To 'Superstorm'

Ann McClure's picture

Hurricane Sandy has resulted in hazardous winter conditions across the state, meaning many school-aged children are home for the day — unless they're students at the state's two largest universities.

Both Marshall University and West Virginia University did not cancel or delay classes at their main campuses in Huntington and Morgantown, leading some students to question the schools' priorities. Ashley Herrald, a senior public relations major at Marshall, commutes to campus from her home in Wayne. Despite driving a four-wheel drive with new tires, Herrald said she slid her way to class the morning of Oct. 30 so she could turn in a paper.

"I had a paper due today, and I emailed my professor saying the roads were bad and asked if I could email it," she said. "He said no if I wanted all the points possible. So I slid the whole way to class and was 15 minutes late. But I got to turn in my paper."

Much of Marshall's student population is made up of commuters. Students from Putnam, Wayne and Lincoln counties in West Virginia and border counties in Ohio and Kentucky drive to class each morning. Herrald and Marcus Constantino, a junior journalism major from Bluefield, both said they think university officials don't consider commuter students when they decide to remain open despite hazardous weather.

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