01/27/2014 10:05 pm ET Updated Jan 28, 2014

Ridiculous Number Of Illinois Students Sign Petition To Cancel Classes Because It's Cold


It's really cold in Illinois this week.

The forecast high at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for Monday was just 5 degrees. The predicted wind chills of 25 to 35 degrees below zero prompted a wind chill advisory issued for central Illinois, where UIUC is located, through Tuesday afternoon.

However, UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise announced Sunday evening that classes would go on Monday, which didn't sit well with Illinois students.

In response, more than 8,000 people signed an online petition trying to get the university to cancel classes Monday.

"Canceling classes is a responsible measure to ensure that the entire campus community remains safe during these exterme [sic] weather conditions," the petition reads. "If you feel the same, sign this petition to let the Chancellor know."

They did not succeed.

Students also took it upon themselves to let the chancellor know on Twitter how upset they were with going to class. But some did so with offensive posts and by wishing injury on Wise, a daughter of Chinese immigrants. BuzzFeed and Chicagoist gathered several examples, most of which have since been deleted.

Thankfully, there were some more level-headed folks who pushed back on the offensive tweets:

In total, there were more than 1,900 tweets using the hashtag #FuckPhyllis by Monday afternoon.

But still, classes went on as scheduled.

The University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Chicago and Northwestern University remained open Monday, but students there largely did not head to Twitter with offensive remarks, just snarky ones:

UPDATE, Jan. 28: Awwwww! UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise received a flood of supportive phone calls and emails throughout Monday, with attempts to comfort the university leader while students attacked her on social media, the News-Gazette reports. Someone even sent flowers with a card reading, "I support you."

Wise did see the tweets, which she called "sad."

"I'm hoping this still represents a very, very small minority," Wise told the News-Gazette. "We have to talk about civil discourse, and how to agree to disagree and still remain ... respectful."