The first day of the year rang in more than resolutions this year–with the new year came some of Boise’s coldest temperatures so far this winter. Just how c-c-cold was Boise during winter break? Jan. 4 saw a recorded low of just 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
For nearly the duration of the intersession class term, Boise’s daily high temperatures hovered at 15-20 degrees below normal; many days, the temperature barely reached two digits. The well-below-freezing temperatures and a heavier-than-average snowfall combined to make campus a winter wonderland for those Broncos lucky enough to be enrolled in classes over break.
But while most of the Treasure Valley’s public schools enjoyed several snow days during the duration of the winter weather spell, Boise State students weren’t so lucky. Despite dangerously cold temperatures and snow-covered, slick roadways, Boise State classes remained staunchly in session for the duration of intersession.
“It’s different in intersession than in regular classes, because an intersession class is the equivalent of a whole week of regular classes,” said Ryan Dunton, a junior majoring in economics who took an intersession course this year. “If it’s an intersession class, I think you kind of have to have it.”
Dunton added that on one of the worst-weather days during the intersession term, students were allowed to arrive on campus an hour later than the scheduled start of classes, allowing them to take their time navigating the slippery roadways.
Other students, however, felt safety should be the university’s highest priority and despite the compact nature of intersession classes, a day off may have been in the students’ best interest.
“There was a day or two when the roads were really bad,” said sophomore education major Julie Kemp. “If the interstate is closed down, obviously the roads are bad. That should be something (Boise State) takes into account. It’s dangerous to drive early in the morning when it’s cold if the roads are that icy.”
According to the university website, many factors are taken into account when university officials weigh the decision to cancel classes due to winter weather. The decision is made by an administrative team rather than an individual, and safety for students and staff is foremost in making such a decision.
However, Boise State tends to be more conservative with school closures and class cancellations than local school districts. Campus policy is to remain open except in rare cases where conditions are so bad as to require otherwise. According to university policy, “closing is the rare exception, not the rule.”