University administrators will convene on a phone call at 5 a.m. at the latest on Wednesday to assess the weather and campus safety in order to make a final decision regarding a campus closure. If the University closes tomorrow or opens late tomorrow, students, faculty, and staff will be notified by 6 a.m.
“We’re going to be checking the weather through the night,” said Assistant Vice President for Communications Daniel Day. “It’s not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll make an announcement [earlier than 6 a.m.].” Other than a full closure of the University, administrators could also choose to delay classes or to end them early.
“One option that we have is that classes might go on but the University might be closed for other business,” Day said, since many students and professors live in close proximity to academic buildings. “We’ve had that situation in the past,” he said.
Facilities will also be monitoring the weather in order to best combat the effects of the storm.
“The number one priority is keeping everyone as safe as possible,” said Chris Lillja, the facilities communications manager. “[We] have to have a shifting game plan as the storm unfolds, depending on the type of precipitation and how much we get,” he said.
If necessary, the University will open up Dillon Gymnasium as a storm shelter Wednesday at 3 p.m. for dining hall workers who either cannot drive home or choose not to. This is meant to ensure smooth operation of campus dining halls. If opened as a shelter, it would have partitioned living quarters for men and women, as well as separate gendered restrooms and showers. The storm shelter would then close at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
All students, faculty, and staff will be notified by email of any changes to the University’s operating schedule due to adverse weather conditions. The University will also publish a press release with the information on the homepage. Students can also call the Public Safety University Weather Alert Hotline at 609-258-SNOW.