All traces of milk, bread and eggs disappeared from grocery store shelves as Charlotteans prepared themselves for Winter Storm Helena, the first winter storm of 2017. Meteorologists expected her to bring an upwards of 6 inches of snow, however, when she put out, citizens were left disappointed. Areas of Waxhaw and Mint Hill ended up with only an inch of sleety-shit and the university area collected a measly 3 inches. By Sunday night, the main roads were clear, while back roads and other rural areas (locations which university doesn’t care about students driving on) remained covered in ice.
Charlotteans suspect the blunder of a bill, HB2, also referred to as “the Bathroom Bill” turned the snow storm Helena away from Charlotte, like everything else. At this point, HB2 has cost Charlotte the 2016 NBA All Star game, a Pearl Jam concert and a Pay Pal expansion. It came as no surprise that Charlotte, and UNC Charlotte in particular would continue to suffer into 2017, even from the force of nature.
Winter Storm, Helena was looking forward to visiting North Carolina, but once she learned of the almost year old bill, she decided to save her snowmaking talents for less discriminatory states like Virginia and West Virginia.
“I understand that Charlotte expected me to bring a lot of snow, but I don’t support anti-LGBT legislation,” said Helena, in an exclusive The Black Sheep interview.
For students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Helena’s frosty visit meant the possibility of having classes cancelled due to the snowstorm. “I honestly haven’t recovered from last semester yet so I was really hoping to have a few more days added to break,” said Scott Walsh, sophomore engineering student.
UNC Charlotte sent out an email noon on Sunday, declaring classes would begin as scheduled. Today, students protested in their various ways against classes and HB2.
“Helena’s visit meant we had the opportunity to have class cancelled, but she decided to not come because of HB2. It’s time we get it repealed so we don’t miss any more opportunities,” said protest coordinator, Jenny Jordan. “We deserved those snow days and HB2 took them away.”
Sixth year senior Ian Walsh lamented the lack of cancellation, stating, “I want to start off my last first day of classes at UNCC the right way: not at UNCC. If it means protesting HB2, then I’m finally in.”
While some gracious professors cancelled class, unfortunately, the university went on with normal operations. Students unable to make it protested from online, like freshman Emily Day who tweeted: “I can’t even get to UNCC. Do u [sic] even care about commuters? #sendhelp #blackicematters”
The university would not comment on class cancellations or the protest that took place today.