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Wednesday, January 19, 2022


Man on the Street: How students coped with canceled classes

The first two days back to school didn’t go as the University planned. A nearly record-setting winter storm brought a hard freeze and icy conditions to Houston’s highways on Tuesday, forcing millions to stay home until roads dried out early Wednesday afternoon.

While some Cougars where snuggled up in their homes, some were stuck on an unusually empty campus.

We spoke with three campus dwellers and talked about their experiences during the delayed start to the spring semester. Although different, they had three things in common. They have experienced extreme cold before, they are new to the University and they don’t have social media.

Computer engineering freshman Nate Judas. | Dana C. Jones/The Cougar

Computer engineering freshman Nate Judas said he stayed tucked into the “quiet” Cougar Village residence halls. It was especially quiet for Judas because his roommate had yet to return to UH, forming the perfect setting for reading.

Judas is no stranger to cold weather. “My folks are from Iowa, so this is not uncommon,” Judas said. He doesn’t even consider this a real winter. This week, Iowa experienced weather as low as -6 degrees Fahrenheit.

With not much to down on a big, empty campus, Judas said he was starting to feel the effects of cabin fever just hanging around the dining hall and bonding with his other roommates.

Computer science doctoral candidate Qixi Deng. | Dana C. Jones/The Cougar

Computer science doctoral candidate Qixi Deng is an international student from China. When news broke that classes were canceled, Deng said he checked to see if the International Student and Scholar Services office as open. When he saw that it wasn’t, Deng stayed at his apartment in Cullen Oaks.

The cabin fever didn’t get to Deng because of the “very nice environment” at Cullen Oaks and his luck with a “very nice” roommate, he said.

Deng’s first week in the United States was nothing out of the ordinary.

“This is not very cold for me,” Deng said. “I’m used to it.”

Geology freshman Leonardo Collier. | Dana C. Jones/The Cougar

We found geology freshman Leonardo Collier and his friends LARPing, or live-action role playing, in Lynn Eusan Park. Collier said he spent most of time on Tuesday in Cougar Village 2. He said his stay was fine since the heating, electricity and hot water were all working fine.

“Everybody’s joking saying this is the second Harvey coming around, but it should be cleared up by tomorrow,” Collier said.

Collier was born in England and used to live in Canada, so the weather is “a walk in the park for him, he said.

To pass the time, Collier played video games and “hung out with these nerds,” pointing to his friends.

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