The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Circumstances decide inclement weather closure

Students cross campus in the snow. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Before the first flakes of snow hit the ground, students begin bombarding each other–and the university–with one question: When will St. Joe’s call a snow day?

Melissa McClory, director of Administrative Operations and Academic Affairs, said it is not just one person who makes the decision to close St. Joe’s because of inclement weather.

“A team, comprised of colleagues from the Office of the Provost, Administrative Services, Student Life and Public Safety and Security, is involved with making any weather-related decisions to delay or cancel classes,” McClory said.

There is also no single formula that is followed because every storm is different, McClory said. Still, she said, a number of common factors are considered: snow and ice accumulation, and duration, intensity and timing of the storm.

“The decision-making process includes close monitoring of the forecast from the National Weather Service in terms of the intensity and duration of a given storm and continuous evaluation of conditions on our campus and of our ability to sustain operations,” McClory said.

A major challenge for the university during snowstorms is maintaining shuttle service. Many students rely on the service to get back and forth to campus safely. But when the snow starts to fall, students say the reliability of the shuttles fall as well.

“When it is severely snowing, the shuttle seems to be slower, and at times not even running,” said Hanna Grimes ’21.

Ihunna Amugo ’20 said she struggles with the shuttle system during snow as well and worries about being stranded on campus.

Arthur Grover, director of Public Safety & Security, said snow and ice on the roadways inevitably impact the shuttle services and schedule.

“It is our intention to operate our shuttle service during significant weather events as long as driving conditions permit us to operate safely,” Grover said. “We aim to provide the best and most efficient service possible at all times but ask our patrons to be aware of the impact of severe weather on transportation services.”

Even when the university closes, McClory said a number of workers still must report to campus.

“Office of Residence Life staff, Public Safety & Security staff and Administrative Services staff, including Facilities personnel, Dining Services staff and Housekeeping staff all report to work regardless of the weather conditions to maintain critical operations on the campus,” McClory said.

For days when the university does close due to inclement weather, the campus community is alerted through text notifications, messages on The Nest and university emails.

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