Flu Outbreak Cancels Classes at Local College

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

Classes at Albion College were called off Friday after the seasonal flu carried record numbers of students to the campus health center.

"We had two record days in a row," said Ken Snyder, director of campus safety. "We saw 50 students on Wednesday and 100 on Thursday."

That's a lot for a school of just 1,600 students. Freshman Michael Smith says at least 20 of the 30 students in his residence hall have come down with something.

"A couple kids in our hallway were going to the hospital because they were getting cold sweats and a really bad fever and they were vomiting pretty bad," he said.

You'd think if students were that sick they'd stay home but Snyder says that wasn't the case

"Our students were trying to go," he said. "We have some pretty academic students, it's early in the semester, and students didn't want to get behind."

Students walking into the dining hall are asked to sanitize their hands. Employees say it's just one thing they're doing to make sure healthy students stay that way.

"We actually had a special event planned for this evening which we posposed so we don't have a large number of students together," said Todd Tekiele, director of dining and hospitality services.

The school set up seven stations across campus where sick students could grab hot drinks and soft foods like chicken broth, tea, and jello.

"If we don't have class, if we provide alternative means for them to eat, they're not going to get together," said Snyder.

That's not what we heard from some students.

"Everyone went out to the frats last night and partied anyway so like it didn't do anything," said Conor Coblinski, freshman.

"People are going to go out more and hang out with people more now that there isn't class and they don't have homework," said freshman Joey Kennedy.

Snyder says he hopes students will use this opportunity to rest and get better.

Classes weren't the only thing canceled because of the flu.

All public events including athletic events were postponed too.

The school will reassess the situation Sunday afternoon.

It hopes everything is back to normal by Monday morning.

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