By BECCA COSTELLO & SEAN HOGAN
Universities across Indiana have canceled classes Wednesday ahead of a deep freeze that's forecast to last through Thursday afternoon.
Among the universities cancelling classes because of the cold weather are Indiana-Bloomington, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ball State, Indiana State, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, Butler, DePauw, Manchester, Anderson, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Taylor.
The National Weather Service posted wind chill warnings for the northern two-thirds of Indiana, saying they could drop as low as 40 below zero.
Officials at IU's Bloomington campus announced the decision Tuesday afternoon. IU's adverse weather policy says "employees are expected to use their best judgement to determine if the conditions create an extreme travel hazard when commuting to and/or from the workplace."
More than 28,000 people signed a petition asking the university to cancel classes. Forecasters are calling for the coldest weather in five years for south-central Indiana, with wind chills of minus 27 degrees in Bloomington.
The National Weater Service has issued a wind chill warning for central Indiana starting at 10 p.m. The petition says those conditions are unsafe for students and faculty.
"I’m an international student here and it’s my first time experiencing this weather," says student Shivang Chandna. "I have three classes and walking around on campus, even if the busses are available, I just feel it’s going to be a mess."
The Associated Press and WFIU's Payton Knobeloch contributed to this report.