UM issued a statement midday Tuesday announcing that all classes will move online, beginning at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27 through the end of Wednesday, Sept. 28.
“Based on the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, the University of Miami is moving all classes on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses to an online format,” UM said in a statement sent through UM’s Emergency Notification Network (ENN).
UM issued the decision as updated Hurricane Ian path projections showed the storm’s trajectory shifting to the east closer to southwest Florida. Initially, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted the eye of the hurricane would make land impact in the Tampa Bay, Fla. area, but has moved its estimation further down the state in the last 20 hours. The impact zone is now near Sarasota, Fla. and Punta Gorda, Fla.
The announcement came as Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cuba and its outer rainbands began to reach south Florida, generating torrential rains, mild flooding and a tornado watch in the UM area over the past 24 hours.
“I’m not very happy with it. I think they should have addressed this earlier,” junior real estate major Olivia Klinzmann said. “They should have took action before instead of right in the middle of a storm to make students more safe.”
Klinzmann found her 15 minute commute to school dangerous, sharing that she nearly crashed a few times along the way.
Students similarly voiced concern with the commute returning from UM to their homes.
“I am personally stuck on campus until 3:15,” junior Maddie Bassalik said. “I’m a bit worried about my drive home.”
Miami-Dade County Public Schools extended closures longer than UM, issuing a statement midday Tuesday announcing school closures on Wednesday as well as Thursday and leaving Friday undecided.
Florida International University closed campuses, beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and remained closed through Wednesday. Miami-Dade College similarly suspended classes at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday and through Wednesday.
For the majority of UM students who lived out of state before coming to UM, hurricanes are a rarity, if ever experienced.
Ahmed Elfeky, an international student from Cairo, Egypt and sophomore majoring in business technology and entrepreneurship, has never experienced a hurricane.
“Coming from Egypt, I never witnessed a hurricane or this amount of rain. So driving to school in this type of weather is something I have never done before,” Elfeky said.
Emma Peterson, a junior public relations major from Chicago, has also not yet experienced a hurricane.
“I’m feeling a little bit uneasy, but, overall, I feel comfortable, surrounded by my friends and I’m ready to go through this thing,” Peterson said.