Weather-Related Closing Process and Procedures
What is the weather-related closing process?
When a winter storm is anticipated, the process starts with the Provost or Director of Facilities checking to see if the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory or Watch. If an advisory has been issued, the next step is to wait to see if a Winter Storm Warning is broadcast. A Winter Storm Warning is defined as hazardous winter weather conditions that pose a threat to life and/or property and include a combination of two or more of the following events; snow, freezing rain or freezing drizzle, sleet, and blowing snow.
If the National Weather Service Forecast Office issues a Winter Storm Warning, then the Provost, Director of Facilities and Academic Dean review the information regarding the winter storm warning, including local and regional weather forecasts, and the campus schedule for the classes/people/events that will impacted by a closing. Based on the predicted conditions and campus schedule, a decision is made whether or not to close. In the event that all three cannot be contacted, the decision will be made by only two, however, the final decision to close is always made with the provost’s concurrence.
Why do we make the decision so early?
Many students, faculty, and staff travel long distance by car to come to campus and must leave home very early in the morning. Even a 6:00 AM announcement on the day of a weather-related closing creates a logistical problem (arrangements for kids, travel time, and so forth) for many people. Therefore, we attempt to announce the decision about weather-related closing the prior afternoon or evening if at all possible.
What are the implications of closing on curriculum delivery?
When the campus closes due to weather conditions, there is inevitably an impact on the delivery of the curriculum or on other campus events. It is the responsibility of the department to determine how best to make up the missed classroom time or to reschedule planned events.
It is AUNE’s policy to close the whole campus rather than allow individual departments or faculty members decide what to do?
Because the decision to close is made with regard to the safety of AUNE employees and students, it is important that everyone is treated the same. The institution cannot be in the position of appearing to value the safety of one individual or group, but not another. For example, if the decision to close was made by individual departments or faculty members, the result could be that some people who live close to campus do not drive to work while others drive long distances to campus in unsafe weather. Therefore, departments and/or individuals do not have the authority to make closure or cancellation decisions.
Why do we sometimes close when it looks like we should be open or stay open when it appears that we should have closed?
Weather estimation and forecasting usually carries some degree of uncertainty. Many winter storms have enough random elements to cause computer-based weather models to vary in their predictions. Thus, it is often unclear whether or not to close the campus or stay open. In those cases we attempt to make the best judgment and if necessary err on the side of safety.
How do I find out if AUNE is closed?
When the decision is made to close Antioch University New England because of inclement weather, that decision is communicated in the following ways:
- An announcement via email
- An announcement on the general AUNE telephone line (603-357-3122)
- An announcement on radio and television stations
- WKVT (Brattleboro) 92.7 FM
The River – WRSI (Northampton) 93.9 FM
The Monadnock Radio Group – WKNE 103.7 FM; WINQ 98.7 FM;
WKBK1290 AM; Keene Classics 99.1 FM; KOOL 103.1 FM