Snow Policies

By Hayden Harrower | 12/09/10 | Updated 12/09/10 | Posted in News

There is always some confusion on what constitutes a school closing in the event of inclement weather. But what is most important to the staff that makes these decisions is the safety of students, and what is going on around campus academically.

We have to look at what is going on, on campus; is it finals week, what are the schedules, things like that. But generally we want to stay open if we can, but if weather dictates if weather shows it is too severe or there is a safety risk than we will close.

To make the decision on whether classes are cancelled, first staff members must assess the conditions of roads and campus walkways long before classes actually begin,

"So, 4 o’clock in the morning, my staff, we are all talking to each other, they have probably been on campus now…when I talk about my staff, I am talking about the grounds crew now, probably for a couple of hours because it has been snowing and they are trying to pre-treat areas, one thing we do, we throw some pre-treat down, it tends to melt the snow faster, if you don’t do that then it gets built up faster. Then we will decide whether we think we have a problem, whether we think the forecast is saying significant snow."

After the Facilities crew determines the conditions, Norman Young, head of the department will talk with other faculty to understand the academic situation of that particular day.

"So, by about 5 o’clock I got that answer and then I call our Associate Provost, which in this case is Chuck Calorulli, on our campus. We talk about things, he knows all about the academic schedule and what’s going on, and I know about the conditions, so together we decide whether we think we should recommend a closing, a late opening or maybe nothing."

After consulting between departments, the final decision is made.

"Then I will call the president, and I will do that prior to 5:30 in the morning, and he certainly loves being woken up by then, and I will give him the recommendation. And he will make the final call."

When classes are delayed, Facilities will set a time that they will open campus. All classes that begin before the that time will be cancelled. During the delay, the grounds crew work to remove ice and snow off of walkways like this one for safe travel.

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