“It is the University’s intent to conduct classes as long as it can maintain reasonable conditions on campus and the roads in the immediate areas are reasonably passable,” according to the University Weather Policy. However, what happens when a delay or cancellation, or even a university closure, is announced?
When extreme weather conditions are possible, the A-team will advise the provost and president on if classes should be delayed or canceled or if the university should close. This team includes Rita Abent, executive director for university communication and public affairs, Michael Simmons, chief of police and Scott Albert, assistant vice president of facilities and planning.
The team looks at reports from PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police and the National Weather Services as well as the facilities crew see at SRU concerning the status of campus roads and lots. Timing of extreme weather also impacts the decision to adjust the schedule of the university.
“If a weather event hits us at 3 o’clock in the morning, chances are at 3 o’clock in the morning, we would be responding then and most likely have the campus entirely clean, but we would be talking about that hourly from that point on as to what the level we have of making sure the campus and the roads are safe for people,” Abent said.
Decisions concerning a delay, cancellation or closure would be announced by 6 a.m. When applicable, cancellation notices for evening classes starting at 5 p.m. or later would be announced by 3 p.m.
“We have a number of people that travel distances to come to the institution, and we don’t want them out traveling if it’s really not safe here,” Abent said, who also said that one-third of students are considered “true commuters” who live outside of a two-mile radius of SRU.
If classes are delayed or canceled, or SRU is closed due to severe weather, notifications will be sent via e2Campus alerts. The e2Campus alert will automatically be sent as an email to @sru.edu accounts, and a text to those who registered for text alerts. These alerts would also show on D2L, SRU’s website and local media.
“People are more prone to check their text messages when they get up in the morning, so generally, that’s the best one for us,” Abent said. “We want to get it out there in multiple ways so that there is the least amount of confusion about what is happening.”
If SRU is closed, all classes and extracurricular activities would be canceled. However, essential services will remain open on campus. Per the University Weather Policy, this includes dining halls, residence halls, health services, switchboard, university policy and the university help desk.
If classes are delayed, SRU would implement a compressed class schedule. The first classes of the day would begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes would then be 35 minutes long while Tuesday and Thursday classes would be 60 minutes long, and both schedules include a 10-minute break between classes. Evening classes would remain as scheduled unless otherwise announced.