CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University was closed Monday, canceling all final exams scheduled for the day.
The school also canceled exams scheduled for 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday. Leaders said they were worried about dangerous conditions with snow and ice both on and off campus.
The cancellation was on the first day of final exams for the fall term. It threw a delicately balanced schedule for 14,000 students into chaos.
On campus Monday, the normal pressure of big test day seemed to be gone. The only test was not falling.
“Its pretty icy but it’s exciting because it’s like you’re ice skating!” said student Lindsey Ferguson.
Away from campus, the problem was more apparent. Snow and ice covered most everything.
On Monday, Nehemiah Clark was probably one of the most popular guys in town. He chops ice off the sidewalk with a flat-ended spade.
“The walking around is not so bad. It’s when you get in your truck, you’re still sliding around,” he said.
Corvallis Public Works Director Mary Steckel said the city does not use salt because of environmental concerns. So there is nothing to melt the ice.
She said plows could not clear the snow before drivers packed it down as it fell early Friday morning. As a result, the city was spreading sand, which she said helps a bit.
OSU officials said they were worried about students and others driving to school over the dangerous roads. But that had a ripple affect on already scarce classroom space.
“Its been an interesting weekend in doing some planning,” said OSU Registrar Rebecca Matherson.
When the school canceled finals for Monday, Matherson and her team had to find space where they could hold tests later in the week.
Some will take place indoors at Reeser Stadium. And thousands of students like Justin Rouleau will take their final Friday instead of today.
“So I have two at 7:30 a.m. at the end of the week, which is ridiculous!” he said.
Freshman John Ren said his test was moved, too.
“It was going to be moved to Friday but my professor changed it to a take-home final. So props to him. I really like him now,” Ren said.
Some students have flights booked out of town on Thursday because they thought they didn’t have a final on Friday. The registrar said the school will work with those students to allow them to still catch their flights and get home for the holidays.