For many students on Connecticut college campuses most affected by the weekend's snowstorm, Monday was a day of decision-making.
Should they stay or should they go?
For Lauren Poremski and Christy Taylor, the answer came late Monday afternoon, when the University of Hartford announced that classes would again be cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday.
The friends had no power in their dormitories and had been hunkered down for the last couple of nights in the university's Gengras Student Union with their belongings — pillows, comforters, laptops — spread across four couches to secure the prime space.
Like many other students who had moved temporarily into the student union, Taylor spent Saturday night on the floor and she was determined not to do it again.
"We're squatting," Poremski, a senior explained. "It's survival of the fittest. Sometimes you've got to be animalistic."
When the news arrived of the continued power outage and class cancellation, they decided to leave Monday night for Poremski's home in Plymouth, Mass.
"We didn't want to be sleeping on couches all week," Poremski said. A university spokesman said a decision will be made Wednesday afternoon on whether to re-open Thursday.
At Wesleyan University, freshman Jaxie Friedman faced a similar decision. With no power in her dorm, Friedman had been chilly, but not too uncomfortable, and she'd had some fun getting to know people on her hall.
"A lot of us really didn't know each other," she said, "but we ended up staying up late, talking in the dark."
When she got the news late Monday afternoon that classes would again be cancelled Tuesday, she decided to meet her mother in New York City.
At St. Joseph's College in West Hartford, students had the decision made for them: They were told to leave Sunday afternoon because the campus had no power.
"I'm not complaining because I have an exam," said Rosalie Lyons, a freshman at St. Joseph's, who was home in East Hampton. "This gives me more time to study."
Spokeswoman Cynthia Mariani said daytime classes at St. Joseph's were cancelled Tuesday, but a decision wouldn't be made about Tuesday evening classes until Tuesday morning. She said the pharmacy school in Hartford would have classes as usual Tuesday.
At Central Connecticut State University, students were dealing with more uncertainty: Classes were cancelled until noon Tuesday, and a decision wouldn't be made until 6 a.m. Tuesday on afternoon and evening classes.
Sherri Hill, spokeswoman for Western Connecticut State University, said the entire university had had power, but that Connecticut Light & Power shut it down on the Westside campus Monday, leaving one dorm in the dark. Students in that dormitory were asked to go home or to stay with friends in other dorms. If CL&P restored power Monday night as promised, Hill said, classes would be held Tuesday; otherwise classes would be cancelled.
Like many students, Cameron Boucher, a University of Hartford freshman, said the outage and class cancellations have left him feeling "antsy … I don't know if we should be having fun or studying."
Ashley Lee, a senior, who spent Sunday night in a chair at the University of Hartford student union and did not sleep well, decided to leave campus for a friend's home on Monday afternoon. "Everybody feels out of whack," said Lee. "It's not a day off. It's just stress."
Mari Saakjan, a Wesleyan senior, decided not to leave. The first chapter of her thesis was due Tuesday. With classes cancelled, she'll get extra time, but she said she wanted to continue working in it.
She decided to stay on in her off-campus house, even without power. "This morning it was colder inside than outside," Saakjan said.
With cellphone and laptop batteries waning or dead, Wesleyan students said they played cards and board games Sunday night in hallways that had emergency lighting.
Arielle Trager, a sophomore, said it was odd not to be able to text a friend if you wanted them to come out of their room and join you.
"It was weird..." she said. "You had to knock on everyone's door if you wanted to see them."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun