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Jan. 29, 2019


Jan. 30, 2019

Wow. It’s cold. I don’t mean, “Grab a sweater it’s a little chilly,” cold. I mean, “Oh my gosh my face hurts because I stepped outside for three seconds,” cold. The wind chill is currently -29 degrees — and the sun is actually shining. I hate to think what’s going to happen when the sun goes down. This reminds me of winters on the South Dakota prairie back when my husband was in the Air Force, but I really didn’t expect these temperatures in East Lansing.

As a student, there were plenty of days where the treks across the “tundra” were pretty cold, but this goes way beyond that. At these extremes, frostbite can happen within 10 minutes. And anyone who has been a student at MSU knows that this is a big place — there are a lot of walks that take more time than that. We Spartans are tough, but when Old Man Winter is being this mean, we’re smart enough to know when to give in and let him have his day — or even a couple of days.

It doesn’t happen often, (only seven times in our history!) but when it’s just too dangerous to have students, staff and faculty out in the bitter cold or blizzards, the university does the right thing and cancels or suspends classes and modifies operations. Which is exactly what administrators did this week. I’m guessing cheering could be heard from the Brody Neighborhood all the way to Hubbard Hall.

But some work simply can't stop. We have students to house and feed, heat to keep going, animals to care for, roads to be cleared, research that can’t stop…the list goes on and on. So, while students might be missing a lecture and some staff are working from their couches wrapped in fleece, there are hundreds of other dedicated Spartans out in the cold keeping the essential parts of all 5,200 acres of campus running. So, make sure to thank those awesome Spartans who are simply bundling up and going to work. 

Some parents of students recently took to their Facebook group to do just that. Here’s a sampling of some thoughts they had:

  • Thank you for risking the cold to make sure the rest of the campus is fed, comfortable and safe. I have told my daughter to thank every professor and service personnel for getting to their job in spite of the weather. Their commitment and sacrifice did not go unnoticed.
  • Thank you for everything thing you do and taking care of our kiddos!! You are wonderful! 
  • RHS, thank you for all you’re doing to keep our kids safe, fed and entertained! So very much appreciated!!
  • Sending lots of thanks to all of you from one of your RCPD friends! You guys rock today and every day! 
  • Another reason I appreciate Live On! I don’t imagine most off campus landlords are going to such lengths to take care of our Spartans. (Not to speak poorly of anyone, I just feel like RHS is going above and beyond today by adding activities to encourage friendships and keep our kids entertained)
  • I love that activities are being planned for residents and am extremely relieved dining options are available. Thank you so very much to all who make this possible!! This is the same student-centered focus I found at MSU when visiting for the first time in January last year — when it was a balmy 10 degrees.  Very happy and proud my freshman chose to be a Spartan!
  • You all have gone above and beyond to deliver outstanding Spartan experiences today. THANK YOU.

For all you Spartans who are in a more temperate part of the world right now, send warm thoughts to those of us in the Mitten. If you want to check out campus in real time, you can always take a peek at the Beaumont Tower webcam. (Be advised that during snowstorms, the server gets overloaded so be patient and try again if you can’t get in.)

Stay warm, Spartans. Use your time indoors wisely to plan all the amazing ways you’re going to change the world for the better — just as soon as your nose defrosts. #SpartansWill.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Derrick L. Turner


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