USD classes were canceled on the Vermillion campus from 8 a.m. Tuesday until 8 a.m. Thursday.
Classes were canceled due to the forecasted weather conditions of extremely cold temperatures and a severe wind chill warning. Wind chill temperatures were forecasted to drop down to -39 degrees on Tuesday night and -40 degrees on Wednesday, according to an email sent to students from University Relations.
Southeastern South Dakota was declared to be in a wind chill warning both Tuesday and Wednesday. These frigid temperatures could lead to frostbite, hypothermia or death when exposed for even a brief period of time.
“Stay safe. Stay warm. Stay home, Yotes,” Sheila Gestring, university president, tweeted Tuesday morning.
Other schools in the region also called off school due to the temperatures, including South Dakota State University, Northern State University and Morningside College in Sioux City.
Before the cancellation was announced, USD students took to social media to ask USD administration to consider safety as a factor in the cancellation decision.
A USD student also started an online petition asking the administration to cancel classes, which received almost five thousand signatures as of Tuesday night.