GW to hold make-up days for missed classes

Sophomore Ryan Kelly’s roommate woke him at 6 a.m. Monday morning as soon as he found out school was canceled. Kelly said he slept for the rest of the morning before catching up on schoolwork and talking to his friends.

“I basically just called all my friends who go to school up in New Jersey and rubbed it in their faces,” Kelly said.

Some students said by Sunday night, they predicted they would not have school on Monday and took advantage of the suspected day off.

“We stayed up until 6 a.m. and kept checking (GW’s) Web site,” sophomore Sivan Zaitchik said. “We also walked around for a really long time and saw people playing in the snow. People were really nice and waited until we walked by to throw their snowballs.”

“We drank Jack Daniels (whiskey) to stay warm,” said a sophomore who wished to remain anonymous.

While students played in the snow, partied and caught up on homework, they will need to make up Monday and Tuesday’s classes later this semester. Classes were canceled all day Monday, and before 10 a.m. Tuesday and after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The University may push back final exams, but there is not a “huge cushion” between the end of exams and graduation ceremonies, said Craig Linebaugh, associate vice president for academic planning and special projects.

Final exams end Thurs., May 11 and Commencement is scheduled for Sun., May 15.

Linebaugh said other options include having class on a Saturday or on the designated make-up days before final exams. Linebaugh said officials will make a decision within the week.

“We will make it up, we’re just trying to figure out the best way to do it,” Linebaugh said.

Monday’s day off was the second Monday in a row students did not attend classes, because last week was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. In two weeks, Monday classes will be canceled because of Presidents’ Day.

But Linebaugh said officials plan the calendar so there is an equal number of classes each day of the week.

About 130 staff members worked to clean up GW’s three campuses from Sunday night until Wednesday.

Eric Hougen, project manager for the Office of Business and Operations, said workers removed snow and ice from all sidewalks, building entrances and parking lots. D.C. workers removed snow on the street.

“The snow removal process is based on a priority system, whereby certain critical building such as medical or public safety facilities are addressed first,” he wrote in an e-mail. “All handicapped entrances should have been cleared at the same time a buildings’ other entrances were cleared.”

Hougen said while GW has not yet tabulated the total cost of the clean-up, the average cost for four days of labor and supplies for snow removal is $10,000.

“(T)he cost is dependent on the amount of snowfall,” he said. “For example, in cases when the campus experiences several feet of snow, the University utilizes the services of specialized contractors with heavy equipment to actually remove the snow from the campus and street corners.”

Jim DeCarufel, forecaster at the National Weather Service’s Baltimore-Washington Region Forecast Office, said he expects a “normal” amount of snowfall and average temperature for February. The Baltimore-Washington area typically has a temperature in the mid 40s during the day and high 20s at night, and receives 5.2 inches of snow.

“Right now, there’s no way to tell (if we’ll get another big storm this winter),” he said. “We have near normal temperatures and precipitation so far, but anything is possible.”

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