News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 8, 2014

ARCTIC BLAST 2014: RHIT students resume classes two days late

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Carrying armloads of clothing into their residence hall, students Cody Sunderhaus and Jacob Whitacre said Wednesday that the recent snowstorm in the Wabash Valley slowed their arrival for the start of classes at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

But it didn’t halt their determination to return Wednesday for the delayed start of classes after winter break.

“It took me an extra hour and a half to get here,” said Sunderhaus, a freshman civil engineering major who said he lives near Louisville, Ky., where the weather was not nearly as blizzard-like. “I live three hours south of here, and we didn’t have a lot of snow. I realized too late it was not an easy drive.”

Whitacre, a freshman mechanical engineering major, said his drive time from home in Paris, Ill., was longer than usual, as well.

“It took me an hour — going about 40 mph,” he said.

While classes at RHIT were scheduled to resume Monday, the cold temperatures and heavy snow resulted in class cancellations for two days, with Wednesday being the first day for classes.

“There weren’t a lot of people in class today,” said Matt Adams, a sophomore chemical engineering major from Oswego, Ill.

Adams said he intentionally arrived on campus Saturday night, ahead of the approaching snow storm.

“A lot of us just stayed inside, and there wasn’t a lot to do,” Adams said of the snow days. “We watched movies and hung out, and because it’s Rose, we did homework, too.”

Adams said he knew of several people still having difficulty traveling to campus either on the snow-covered roads or because of flight delays.

At the student recreation center, student staffer Loys Rees said activity on campus started to pick up Tuesday evening.

“I stayed inside as much as possible, but I came over to the rec center as soon as possible,” Rees said Wednesday afternoon. “More people were out Tuesday, and we will get busy in a few hours after classes are out.”

For students who miss classes because of the snow and travel restrictions, there will be some leeway to make up for classtime, one visiting professor said.

“We have a liberal leave policy,” said Jeff Ewen. “Students will not be penalized for missing classes due to snow. They can make up work. It’s not a big deal. We just want them to get here safely.”

Meanwhile, classes also resumed Wednesday at Indiana State University, and classes were scheduled to resume today at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and Harrison College in Terre Haute. Classes at Ivy Tech Community College begin Jan. 13.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.