I also find it interesting that although almost every school district is affected by this that most of the UW schools at not closing down. Heck, I live in Saint Paul and they cancelled classes at the U of M and that isn't even a big commuter school. Some Chancellors of these University's must really have heart's that are ice cold to not consider the safety of their students.
But is it a commuter problem? It's being outside. Most UW campuses are small and easy to walk between buildings for classes. Not so at UM
It is somewhat of a commuter problem. My wife goes to UWRF and a large percentage of the student population commutes into that campus. With it being so cold and windy tonight most plows have been told to stay off the roads due to the dangerous conditions. As well, think of all the possible things that could go wrong if a commuters car breaks down and is stranded on the road out in the cold. Up here the wind chills are going to be as low as -55 degrees. Another caveat is they say to use your best judgement whether to come in or not but at UWRF, it is the first day off classes and if a student doesn't show up they get removed from the class by missing it on the first day. It is kind of a double edge sword and I believe they shouldn't make students choose between their safety and their school and classes.
I was at UWRF in 95-96 school year and they canceled classes one day because of snow or cold I don't remember which. Everyone made a really big deal out of it saying it was the first time classes were canceled since JFK was assassinated. Whether that was true or not, I'm not sure, but it certainly seems they don't cancel very often. I am currently taking online classes through Lakeland College which has several "satallite" campuses around the state for night and weekend students. They have canceled these classes a couple times this winter for weather related reasons.