CHICAGO (CBS) — Along with the Chicago Public Schools, all of the city’s major universities were also back in class on Friday, and some were even able to reopen on Thursday.
The University of Chicago canceled classes on Wednesday and Thursday following the blizzard, which left 20.2 inches of snow on the ground. But the university anticipated that some faculty members might not make it.
University shuttle bus also resumed Friday, using temporary reroutes until Monday. Other campus venues, including dormitory dining halls, campus convenience stores, student cafes, and venues in the Reynolds Club student union such as the C-Shop coffee shop and Hutchinson Commons, were also expected to reopen.
But with many streets around the Hyde Park neighborhood still unplowed, the university has decided to suspend SafeRide late-night van service until Monday, the Chicago Maroon student newspaper reported.
The U of C shut down its shuttle bus service at 9 p.m. Tuesday, after at least four buses couldn’t complete their routes and two were involved in accidents, the Maroon reported. Students received an e-mail advising tehm not to go outside.
Around 100 students were stranded in campus buildings for several hours after the shuttle bus service was suspended. The students eventually went home in U of C police patrol sport-utility vehicles, and some were not able to leave until 1 a.m., the Maroon reported.
Finally, the U of C decided to cancel classes for Wednesday and again Thursday, although facilities such as the Regenstein Library and the campus dining halls remained open. Dining hall staffers were put up at the U of C’s International House, 1414 E. 59th St., rather than being sent home for the night, the Maroon reported.
This was the first time in decades that the U of C called off classes due to weather. In the blizzard of 1999, which happened on the New Year’s holiday weekend, classes went on as scheduled the following Monday. But lecture halls were hardly filled to capacity.
Some dormitory resident heads said less than half of their students had returned, the student newspaper the Chicago Weekly News reported on Jan. 7, 1999.
Up in Evanston, Northwestern University also canceled classes Wednesday, for the first time since 1979. The Northwestern shuttle and SafeRide service were both halted even after the blizzard, the Daily Northwestern reported.
The Norris University Center student union was open on a limited basis, while university health services, sports facilities and dining halls were closed, the Daily Northwestern reported.
Northwestern resumed classes on Thursday, but the university advised students to stay home if they believed it was unsafe to travel. Still sidewalks and parking lots were sufficiently clear for the Northwestern to reopen a day before the U of C, or the Chicago Public Schools.
The DePaul University campus was closed Wednesday and Thursday, except for the Lincoln Park student center and the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center. The campus reopened Friday.
Classes at Loyola University and at the University of Illinois at Chicago also resumed Thursday.
Several city museums and cultural institutions were also closed Tuesday afternoon, all day Wednesday, and in some cases all day Thursday for the blizzard, among them the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. But by Friday, all had reopened.